Colombia is training a number of Paraguayan security forces in counterinsurgency warfare, despite some questions over the nature of Colombia‘s role as a security exporter in the region.
In 2014, around 160 Paraguayan soldiers, mostly special forces, received training from the Colombian military, Colombian newspaper El Espectador reported.
Although bilateral training programs have been in place since 2008, the practice has taken on greater significance in Paraguay since 2013, when President Horacio Cartes passed a law allowing military forces to be deployed domestically.
The move was aimed at Paraguay’s small but troublesome Marxist guerrilla group the EPP. Both governments say the EPP has received training from Colombia’s largest guerrilla group the FARC, and an EPP faction known as the ACA is reportedly directly modeling itself after the Colombian insurgents.
Officials see a parallel exchange of expertise between Paraguay and Colombia’s security forces as a natural response, El Espectador reported.