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Thursday, February 1st 2007, 9:46pm

Noticias Paraguay Q3/33

I've changed the format to a more non-biased historical prospective to better cover the war.

Wars of Separatism: The Paraguayan Civil War by A. D Steinbecker, Patagonia Press 1955, pp.87

The month of July was very quiet after the heavy fighting of the winter. Fighting was focused around the towns of Caazapa and Caacupe. The latter on the road to the capital Asuncion is the most important strategic target. Caacupe remained in government hands but was under siege on its north, east and southern boundaries. Rebel forces were building up forces and tightening their grip on the town. Some 8,000 residents left during July and August heading either west to Asuncion or south towards Argentina. The Asuncion-Caacupe railway was the main strategic route to cut if Caacupe was to be isolated. Rebel forces still made hit-and-run raids and sporadic shelling of the line but by August it was repaired and supplying forces in the town which included at least a battalion.

At Caazapa the rebel southern force was nearly destroyed but a regiment switched sides and the rebels captured two small ammunition dumps. This went some way to restoring the rebel strength in the area and the International Regiment composed of French, British, Dutch, Atlantean and Argentine volunteers was also sent to the area along with some twenty rebel aircraft supplied by Italy. The frontline crept back towards the town and by September government troops began defecting and the outlying farms were under rebel control. On August 9th Brigadier A.S. Castillone was declared governor of the Department Caazapa and soon executed some 200 supposed traitors and rebel sympathisers.

Fighting is not restricted to these areas and clashes have been reported all over southern Paraguay. During August Villarrica in the Department of Guaira declared itself free of government influence and troops headed north aided by rural guerrilla fighters and soon the town of Coronel Oviedo in the Department of Caaguazu was also fortified against government attack and several government convoys were massacred in the area. Meanwhile in the northern regions of San Pedro and Canindeyu began guerrilla warfare cutting most of the main roads. These fighters were horse-mounted and could cover huge areas striking targets at night and blowing up army dumps and camps. The Departments of Misiones and Itapua in the very south were by now fully under rebel control under the Paraguayan Anti-Government Front (UPAF) government headed by Luis Contreras.

General Hector Ramon Garioza Ruiz Diaz still held power and the Departments of Paraguari, Central and Cordillera in the western portion of the country were under his harsh martial law rule. The isolated far Northern provinces knew little of the fighting and there were no rebel forces in these areas, mostly attention there was on their Bolivian neighbour.
The Department of Amambay on the Brazilian border saw its first rebel action in September when on the 23rd six men shot dead the loyalist mayor of Pedro Juan Caballero, a small border town and five soldiers. Two days later the bank was robbed and the money distributed among the poorest plantation farmers.

In the air the few government planes left serviceable were hidden in remote strips while rebel bombers had a free reign over the skies and some ten bombing raids were flown over Asuncion as well as raids on Caacupe and Caazapa. The Navy still nominally served the Diaz regime but it was transporting refugees across the Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana but failed to stop any shipments of arms to the rebels or indeed to fire on rebel positions.

Kaiser Kirk

Lightbringer and former European Imperialist

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Friday, February 2nd 2007, 4:06am

Very nice post Hood. Were the executions simply more than usual, or an isolated outrage? Or were they after a judicial action?
It will be interesting to see things unfold going forward. : )


Friday, February 2nd 2007, 6:22am

Nice to see you also haven't forgotten the Mercenaries aspect of a conflict, though I'm sure many of the mercs home country's wouldn't want the publicity. Quite realistic.