RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A court sentenced Oscar Benítez, accused of the 2005 kidnapping and murder of Cecilia Cubas, daughter of former president Raúl Cubas (1998-1999), to 34 years in prison, a crime attributed to a leftist group that is considered the origin of the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) guerrilla group.
Benítez, extradited in 2019 from Brazil, where he was on the run, had pleaded guilty and apologized to the victim’s family, who was 31 years old when she was kidnapped in September 2004 near her residence in San Lorenzo, a municipality near Asunción.
The Prosecutor’s Office advised that Benítez received a sentence of 24 years in prison and another ten years as security measures after the final arguments of the trial, which began in January, under the accusation of kidnapping and intentional homicide.
“The evidence presented by the Public Prosecutor’s Office during the public debate is convincing,” said the sentencing court, according to the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office, which had requested the sentence finally handed down.
The prosecution argued that Benítez was the “operative chief and contact” of the group that carried out the kidnapping, being present at the kidnapping.
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Likewise, the prosecution maintained that the accused rented a house in the vicinity of where Cubas resided to keep track of his movements.
Benítez was arrested in Brazil in 2017, after 12 years on the run.
The prosecutor in the case considered him then as a “link” to the political group that in 2008 created the EPP, a guerrilla active in the north of the South American country and dedicated to the kidnapping of businessmen under Marxist postulates and defense of the peasantry.
Cecilia Cubas was the eldest of two daughters, Raul Cubas and Mirta Gusinky, until a few months ago senator, also for the Colorado Party.
Her body was found five months after her kidnapping in a grave dug in a house in Ñemby (Gran Asunción) and after her family had paid 300,000 dollars for her release.