Former Paraguayan presidential candidate Efrain Alegre said his team has worked for four months demanding the prosecution of the police responsible for the attacks against the Authentic Radical Liberal party during a round of protests held against a vote to allow the re-election of right-wing President Horacio Cartes.
Alegre said the attack by heavily armed riot police on PLRA opposition party headquarters, which led to the death of 25-year-old activist Rodrigo Quintana in April, was premeditated.
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In an interview with Ultima Hora, Alegre said, “We will not negotiate for electoral convenience … the clarification of the death of Rodrigo Quintana and the reliable identification of all those responsible for his death."
He and his team presented photos and footage from the incident as well as actual testimony from witnesses and high-ranking police officers stating that the Minister of the Interior Jose Ortiz had overstepped his jurisdiction and organized the attack to government investigators only to be pushed aside.
Alegre said, “I was told by several senior police officers. What happened was organized, premeditated. The images showed clearly that the police had the order to run over (Quintana).”
“What one can deduce from the police action is that the order was to act with violence. There was an order to shoot, not by chance the way we were shot,” he explained, adding that as Quintana was mayor of Isla Pucu, the criminal offense becomes even more serious.
“When I initially said this, the government said that my complaint was unfounded. I had to put up with it, because I could not expose the policemen who informed me about what is happening … I believe that the prosecutor’s office processed the information he had four months ago and kept them, to hide the presence of senior officers and authorities in the attack on the party.”
According to one doctor who examined Quintana, the young man had died after being shot with rubber bullets at close range, however, EFE reported that the investigation is looking into why Gustavo Florentini, the officer responsible for his death had loaded his shotgun with “lead bullets instead of rubber bullets."
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Four of the officers were arrested and placed in preventive detention, while another two top officials resigned their positions following the raid.
However, according to Alegre, little else has been done, without reparations or apologies ever made to the surviving family members and a heavy lawsuit delivered to the politician following his continuous stream of appeals for government intervention.
The former presidential candidate told reporters that he is committed to bringing justice to the Quintana family and peace to his parents.
“It was unthinkable that something like this could occur since even dictatorship bullets were not fired at the headquarters of an opposition party. If they asked me a few days before, I would have said that it could never happen in Paraguay,” he concluded.