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Paraguay, Archive of Terror

Christina Turner†

Subject History
Sociology » Government, Politics, and Law

Place South America » Paraguay

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics human rights, justice, persecutions, police, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01152.x


General Alfredo Stroessner took control of Paraguay in 1954. He and the Colorado Party ran the country until 1989, when the Movimiento del 2 de Febrero , led by General Andrés Rodríguez, ousted Stroessner. During his 35 years in power, Stroessner consolidated and maintained his position through arrests, torture, and intimidation of his enemies and awards for his allies. Despite the regime change, the Colorado Party remained in power under the leadership of Rodríguez, who called for a move to democracy and open elections. In 1992 the government of Rodríguez elected a National Constitutional Assembly that promulgated a new Constitution. Article 135 of the new Constitution allows citizens the right of habeas data to access state information about themselves. A former political prisoner, Dr. Martín Almada, secured a writ of habeas data to search for information about his own incarceration and torture during the Stroessner regime. He had been imprisoned from 1974 to 1977 and later exiled from Paraguay. Acting on behalf of Almada, a judicial team led by judges of the Second and Third Criminal Courts, José Agustín Fernández and Luíz María Benítez Riera, surrounded the Departamento de Pro-ducciones de la Policía in Lambaré, a suburb 4 kilometers from the capital of Asunción on December 22, 1992. The judges were acting under the habeas data provisions of the Constitution looking for ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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