Asunción – Another terrible murder in Paraguay! Again the victim comes from Germany!
One month after the German researcher Bernard von Bredow († 62) and his daughter († 14), farmer Helmut E. († 74) was shot. His body was found in a forest.
Gunmen kidnapped the dairy farmer and three of his workers at 11 a.m. during a cattle check on his sprawling ranch in the San Pedro region. Using their victim’s cell phone, they called Helmut E.’s son and demanded a ransom of 100 million Guaraní (13,000 euros).
The son deposited the money at the agreed location. The kidnappers executed three of their hostages anyway. Only one worker (18) managed to escape.
According to the police, two perpetrators have been identified but not yet caught. Apparently Helmut E. had taken part in a cattle auction at the weekend. Did the killers spy on him there?
Helmut E. was a Mennonite, a member of a Christian free church from Friesland that founded the “Colony of Friesland” in northern Paraguay and runs a cooperative for cattle breeding, milk production and soy export there.
Helmut E. had already been attacked once in July 2021. The robbers stole six million Guaraní (800 euros) from him, set his pick-up on fire and left the farmer tied up on the side of the road.
“We live together peacefully here,” said his neighbor Ferdinand Rempel (53) to BILD. “It is incomprehensible that Helmut was the victim of such crimes twice.”
Who are the Mennonites?
An evangelical free church from the Reformation period in the 16th century.
The name comes from the Frisian theologian Menno Simons (1496–1561). Like Hutterites and Amish, Mennonites reject infant baptism and are only baptized as adults. They mostly live from agriculture and animal husbandry. Around 15,000 Mennonites live in Paraguay and still speak an old-fashioned German.
Traditional Mennonites reject modernity and do without machines, cars and televisions. The men wear hats and dungarees; the women headscarves, long skirts and traditional blouses.