World - AP Latin America
Paraguayans March to Protest Rising Crime
Thu Oct 14, 9:26 PM ET World - AP Latin America
ASUNCION, Paraguay - Thousands of Paraguayans took to the streets Thursday to protest increasing crime, spurred on the two high-profile kidnappings.
Some 5,000 people protested in the capital, Asuncion, demanding a tougher response to crime and violence.
The march occurred hours after the burial of Armin Anibal Riquelme Seif, 10, who was found Wednesday, two days after his abduction.
Hundreds of Paraguayans crowded an Asuncion ceremony for the funeral of Seif, the son of tobacco business owner Pedro Luis Riquelme.
The boy's uncle — surrounded by family members, friends, and ordinary Paraguayans — complained about the surge in crime.
"Not long ago, we could walk peacefully in the streets," said Faisal Sief Eddine. "But today we're not safe anywhere, not in the streets and not even in our own homes."
In a separate kidnapping case, former President Raul Cubas appealed to the captors of his 31-year-old daughter to contact him with proof she is still alive.
The former president's daughter, Cecila, was taken from her car near her home Sept. 21 in a commando-style operation by heavily armed gunmen.
Raul Cubas was Paraugay's president from August 1998 until March 1999, when the assassination of his vice president sparked rioting and political turmoil that forced him to step down.
The recent uptick in crime in Paraguay led President Nicanor Duarte to fire his interior minister and national police chief on Wednesday.