Remembering the ‘Stronismo’: How ghost of a brutal dictator haunts Paraguay | Politics

Marina Kue, Curuguaty, Paraguay – A rejected dust street ends up in Marina Kue in jap Paraguay; 2,000 hectares of arable land eternally marked as a latter get up between the heirs of Paraguay’s overdue dictator, Normal Alfredo Stroessner, and the sufferers of his brutal dictatorship, the landless peasants.

At break of day on June 15, 2012, a 350-men unit of Particular Police Forces encircled the disputed land batch to evict 60 households who lived there. To the ladies, males, kids and elders who had claimed get right of entry to to Marina Kue, this was once “Farm No 53”, a constituent integrated inside of Stroessner’s debatable land distribution programme and agricultural colonisation scheme of jap Paraguay.

The coming police forces have been absolutely armed, week the most powerful ammunition held by way of the landless peasants was once a prison verdict from 1999 when the Fee of Human Rights of Paraguay had dominated that the constituent was once community land.

Lots of the dispossessed peasants now surrounded by way of police forces had lived on those lands because the overdue Nineteen Sixties when the former proprietor, the Paraguayan Army, returned the land to the circumstance. However an impressive businessman, Blas Riquelme (now-deceased), had alternative concepts. A chief member of Paraguay’s long-ruling, right-wing Colorado Celebration – officially titled the Nationwide Republican Affiliation – he had got down to hire the Marina Kue batch for rising genetically changed plants. The police forces provide that moment have been obeying his command.

Family members bury a peasant farmer killed within the Curuguaty Bloodbath on June 18, 2012. No less than 17 community have been killed and dozens harm throughout armed clashes on June 15, 2012 that happened when police tried to evict landless peasant farmers from a farm in Paraguay, officers stated [Reuters]

Recalling the dreadful occasions of that moment in 2012, Nestor Castro, a slim 40-year-old small-scale farmer, pours H2O from a plastic pitcher into a pitcher and infuses terere (a chilly variant of yerba mate tea) outdoor his area within the rural outskirts of Curuguaty, a town in Paraguay’s easternmost nook bordering Brazil. Years in the past, Castro constructed the home himself at the disputed land, sporting all of the timber and construction fabrics by way of hand or bike.

He remembers how non violent it was once simply earlier than the primary rounds of fireside erupted. “It was like a silent movie,” he says. There have been rifles and weapons within the arms of one of the peasants, however in the case of firearms, they’d slight to do business in any resistance in opposition to the climate police forces. They have been outnumbered and now they have been being sprayed with bullets. Eyewitnesses recall snipers mysterious within the trees, and Castro and his buddies may just do slight however fall to the iron-red terrain.

“We were sitting ducks,” he remembers. “One bullet ripped my chin apart, but I managed to flee into the woods. There, I almost bled to death.” Castro was once taken to a close-by healthcare centre. His frame was once lame, however he survived what was once to be recalled because the “Curuguaty massacre”.

11 peasants and 6 law enforcement officials died, however even supposing Castro was once neither armed nor technically join to any of the 17 deaths, he was once nevertheless charged and sentenced for instigating the bloodbath, at the side of alternative peasants who, to this moment, only shoulder the authentic duty for the atrocity. United International locations human rights mavens slammed the ensuing prison procedure which discovered them to blame.

“It was a cover-up that continues to this day,” says Castro. “I was released in 2017, after five years in prison, but everything my family had to go through, the fact that I only have four natural teeth left in my mouth – nothing’s been properly investigated.”

Family members of 5 landless farmers, Felipe Balmori Benitez, Adalberto Castro, Nestor Castro, Arnaldo Quintana and Ruben Villalba – accused of inflicting riots that resulted within the deaths of six law enforcement officials and 11 farmers in June 2012 in what is referred to now because the Curuguaty bloodbath – protest outdoor an army sanatorium the place the farmers have been held, in Asuncion, on April 11, 2014 [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

The ghost of Stroessner

Castro’s day’s tale intertwines with the “Stronismo” or “Stronato”, the title given to the Stroessner dictatorship, as the kid of needy oldsters who settled similar to the Curuguaty River, constructed a area and made their dwelling as small-scale farmers.

The seeds for the Curuguaty bloodbath he would transform sufferer to have been sown 70 years in the past when Stroessner first got here to energy in a coup in Would possibly 1954.

The land colonisation programme that Stroessner applied as soon as he was once in energy, during which he passed giant swaths of land to his personal affluent prosperous supporters, had grew to become jap Paraguay’s “tierras malhabidas” (“ill-gotten lands”) right into a giant soy garden, controlled by way of influential businessmen with ties to the Colorado Celebration and Brazilian capital. Consistent with historian Andrew Nickson: “Eight million hectares [20 million acres] of virgin forest land illegally [were] distributed to ‘family and friends’ by the Stroessner regime in the 1970s and 1980s under the cynical guise of ‘land reform’, as well as increasing their holdings by buying up provisional land titles from impoverished small farmers.”

In 2008, the ambitious tide that swept via South The usa reached Paraguay, following a bunch of left-wing governments put in in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Ecuador on the flip of the century. The previous bishop and liberation theologian, Fernando Lugo, received the presidential election and made historical past as Paraguay’s first president rooted within the political left. One in every of his number one targets was once to deliver land reform to learn the peasants. For Lugo’s supporters, the unused management woke up hopes for ambitious and social trade, particularly when it got here to Paraguay’s unequal land distribution. (With a crowd of 6.8 million, an insignificant 12,000 community personal 90 % of all Paraguayan land, the extra is fracture between about 280,000 tiny and medium-sized manufacturers.)

“For Paraguay’s many landless peasants, Lugo’s presidency brought us hope for a better future,” says Castro.

However his mandate was once fragile and depending on aid from right-wing fighters.

It left tough land colonisers who had flourished below Stroessner unchecked. And, tellingly, the eviction birthday celebration that surrounded Marina Kue in this withered autumn morning in 2012, responded the decision of Riquelme, who deliberate to whip this land for himself.

Curuguaty peasants
Paraguayan farmers (status, from second left) Adalberto Castro, Arnaldo Quintana, Ruben Villalba, (sitting, from left) Felipe Balmori Benitez and Nestor Castro, who have been accused of inflicting land-related riots that resulted within the deaths of six law enforcement officials and 11 farmers in June 2012, sit down in a bus next being absolved from the army sanatorium in Asuncion on April 15, 2014 [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

‘We’re a part of this earth’

As Castro relates the occasions of the bloodbath, and the historical past in the back of it which has outlined his day, his two daughters are taking part in similar by way of. He issues in opposition to the river, a couple of hundred metres away, the place he and his kinfolk first settled within the early Nineties. By means of next, Stroessner were got rid of and sovereignty was once stated to had been delivered to Paraguay.

However Castro has open slight proof of any democratic community. The nearest he’s come was once throughout the Lugo management when land reform and social rights for famished lots crowned the political schedule. The Curuguaty bloodbath, alternatively, marked the top of any more or less ambitious flip in Paraguay.

“The Curuguaty massacre was the result of the oligarchy’s interplay,” Esperanza Martínez, the fitness minister throughout the Lugo management, tells Al Jazeera. “The soy lobby and Paraguay’s united political right used the massacre as a pretext to call for a halt for reform packages and environmental laws … to pave the way for an expansion of genetically modified versions of soybeans, maize, and rice.”

Certainly, on June 22, 2012, only one occasion next the bloodbath – as Castro and alternative wounded peasants dangled between day and demise – President Lugo was once toppled in a parliamentary coup (or a “no-confidence vote”, relying on who you ask). He was once impeached on fees of being answerable for the bloodbath and “abuse of power”, and given simply 17 hours to organize his prison defence. Finally, Lugo stood deny prospect and was once compelled out of administrative center.

Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo rides an army car earlier than the beginning of a aggregate to commemorate the rustic’s 201st yr of liberty, in entrance of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Asuncion, in Asuncion on Would possibly 14, 2012, one day earlier than the Curuguaty bloodbath [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

An meantime govt was once shaped and abruptly dismantled his ambitious insurance policies referring to social welfare programmes and environmental rules in opposition to genetically changed plants. In 2021, the Congress even criminalised the profession of state-owned lands, even if the aim was once small-scale farming.

The industrial and political machine established by way of Stroessner were challenged, and shaken, however now reinstalled by way of the right-wing Kind Celebration in tandem with the Colorado Celebration.

The Curuguaty bloodbath remainder an issue of taboo and controversy in these days’s Paraguay. Seventeen symbolic crosses had been raised at the slope the place the bloodbath erupted. Ants go the dust street sporting cracks of purple terrain. The peace is non violent.

Together with peace from Paraguay’s prison chambers and political corridors referring to blame for the bloodbath, Nestor Castro is compelled to undergo the nightmare and post-traumatic pressure he suffers with none community help. Marina Kue remainder an in demand batch the place landless peasants proceed to live to tell the tale as small-scale farmers, surrounded by way of increasing subjects of soy, maize, rice, and rice.

For now, the danger of unused jail sentences for “occupying private land” continues to hold over him and his kinfolk, however there’s deny alternative selection however to book dwelling.

“I’ve lived here almost my whole life,” Castro concludes. “We’re part of this earth; this is where my children eat, sleep, live and dream of a better future. To occupy land and cultivate it is the only way to fend off hunger.”

A peasant farmer works on a farm similar Curuguaty, Paraguay, on November 14, 2012, a couple of months next the bloodbath which killed 11 farmers and 6 law enforcement officials when negotiations between farmers and a affluent prosperous baby-kisser resulted in a barrage of bullets. Citizens have lengthy alleged that the land was once successfully stolen from the circumstance by way of Blas Riquelme, a pace-setter of the Colorado Celebration which sponsored dictator Alfredo Stroessner from 1954 to 1989 [Jorge Saenz/AP]

Paraguay – a profitable trade challenge

The collective, systematic and planted starvation – each bodily and political – which continues to plague Paraguay these days was once born out of the army coup in Would possibly 1954 led by way of the 42-year-old Normal Alfredo Stroessner, which overthrew then-President Federico Chavez.

Two months after, on July 11, Stroessner sealed the presidency via an election the place he was once the only prison candidate and clinched similar to 100% of the votes.

Stroessner was once born in 1912, the kid of a local Paraguayan lady and a German immigrant father who inspired his son to fix the army on the while of 16.

In 1932, the Chaco Struggle erupted. A blazing border dispute with Bolivia over the semi-arid woodland patch of Gran Chaco in western Paraguay resulted in a massacre and was once the end result of an ideal typhoon of political hardships. The Superior Despair struck juiceless, and rumours of unexplored oil reserves below Chaco’s desert-dry terrain had the Paraguayan oligarchy hoping for private riches. For Stroessner, the struggle functioned as a stepping-stone to political affect. He gained medals for bravery and persevered to get up inside the army hierarchy week political turmoil erupted in Paraguay, culminating in civil struggle in 1947.

Regardless of being slightly unknown to the outdoor global earlier than his rigged electoral triumph, Stroessner, who died in 2006, turned into one of the crucial longest-ruling despots of the 20 th century. British novelist Graham Greene described him as “a fleshy, good-humoured and astute owner of a beer cellar who knows his customers well and can manage them”.

Till every other coup overthrew Stroessner and compelled him into exile in 1989, he reigned over Paraguay as though it have been a personal undertaking, supported by way of the USA and lauded by way of Western capital as a gatekeeper for profitable trade amenities.

Stroessner additionally cemented the Colorado Celebration as a political concierge for Paraguay’s ruling elite and army pursuits and cleared the path for the privatisation of the rustic’s community lands and publicly owned herbal sources. Following the 1954 coup, Paraguay turned into an integral a part of US overseas coverage – throughout the Chilly Struggle, the USA introduced 72 documented makes an attempt at regime trade, amongst many in its political “backyard” in Latin The usa.

Former Paraguayan dictator Normal Alfredo Stroessner, accurate, is open with former Chilean dictator Normal Augusto Pinochet on Would possibly 14, 1974 in Asuncion, Paraguay [Eduardo Di Baia/AP]

Within the early Nineteen Fifties, US capital and insigt services and products helped flip the current in opposition to numerous ambitious trends. In Cuba, American pursuits – most commonly join up in sugar, prostitution rings and casinos – have been attach when Fulgencio Batista initiated a coup in 1952. Refer to yr, the CIA and Britain’s MI6 had Iran’s democratic high minister Mohammad Mosaddegh – and his initiated nationalisation of Iran’s oil manufacturing – changed with Shah Reza Pahlavi’s extra Western-friendly dictatorship.

In 1954, mere weeks following the coup in Paraguay, Guatemala’s democratically elected and ambitious president Jacobo Arbenz was once got rid of in an army coup initiated by way of influential landowners in tandem with the United Fruit Corporate (after Chiquita), and completed by way of the CIA.

Certainly, Stroessner’s number one years as a dictator have been guided by way of america embassy. Arthur Ageton, US ambassador between 1954 and 1957, wasn’t simply a staunch anti-Communist, but additionally a retired vice-admiral with struggle enjoy from International Struggle II, who turned into a political best friend and tutor to Stroessner.

Stroessner himself seemed Ageton as “the most influential member of my cabinet”. The embassy acted because the hyperlink to Washington, which ensured Stroessner political steadiness, monetary assistance and army finances for the Paraguayan dictatorship that cleared the path for the involvement of the army in organised crime via large-scale smuggling schemes and cash laundering.

When requested about it by way of an American reporter, Stroessner simply mentioned that the smuggling and unlawful business was once “the price of peace” because it saved doable political foes affluent prosperous and satisfied.

Army dictators Alfredo Stroessner (left) of Paraguay and Augusto Pinochet of Chile experience throughout the centre of Santiago throughout a circumstance seek advice from by way of Stroessner in September, 1974 [File: Reuters]

‘It’s a awe I’m nonetheless alive’

To many community, alternatively, Stroessner turned into the chief of a dwelling hell. “He turned Paraguay into one giant prison where everybody was doing time. It wasn’t even a country any more,” remembers Constantino Coronel, a 93-year-old land reform activist and previous political prisoner, who was once in his early 30s when Stroessner clinched his electoral victory in 1954.

On his kinfolk land (“chakra”), positioned deep in southern Paraguay’s rural nook similar to the Argentine border, Coronel leads how one can the mango tree that his mom planted within the Nineteen Twenties. The tree nonetheless stands, sturdy and towering, surrounded by way of cattle and subjects, serving as a testomony to the determined occasions that the timeless guy – and Paraguay – has survived since next.

“It’s a miracle that I’m still alive,” he says.

Within the Nineteen Sixties, Coronel and alternative rural land activists based Ligas Agrarias Cristianas, a non-violent social motion whose calls for for democratic and sustainable land reform turned into a blackmail to the Stroessner regime at a life when the land was once juiceless foreign money and a option to reserve political steadiness via a corrupt and arbitrary distribution of Paraguay’s “ill-gotten lands”.

“By reminding people of the roots of their hunger, despair, and lack of land we opened their eyes and senses to the reasons why they were suffering,” says Coronel. “Our mere existence threatened the foreign capital from Brazil and the West.”

The Stroessner regime wouldn’t have that. Paraguay was once the land of the oligarchy and land was once the trail to energy, and subsequently any more or less social organisation – political gatherings, community conferences and union organisations – was once outlawed and performed with one’s day at stake throughout extended spells of states of siege. “We stood no chance,” laments Coronel, who summarises his day throughout the “Stronismo” in numbers of terror: “I spent five years in an isolation cell, I was subjected to numerous sessions of torture, and forced into exile many times.”

Coronel was once amongst 20,000 arbitrarily arrested civilians throughout the Stroessner dictatorship, amongst whom 94 % have been tortured as a part of the regime’s “preventive repression”, in tandem with “Operation Condor”, a state-run “anti-communist programme” that was once funded and guided by way of the USA and recent South American dictatorships.

Human rights crew Verdad, Justicia y Reparacion (Fact, Justice and Amends) holds a rite to proclaim the returned remainder of community who went lacking throughout the dictatorship govt of Alfredo Stroessner in Asuncion, Paraguay, on February 10, 2017 [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

Leaning his again in opposition to the mango tree, the fall blue sky above him, at the alternative aspect of the branches and leaves, Coronel says he’s reminded of a giant and calmness sea.

To elude into exile in Spain or Argentina, or vacate the effort for a greater the next day for Paraguay’s small-scale and self-sufficient farmers was once by no means an choice, in spite of the tough truth that political victories had been few and some distance between.

“It’s always been about the fight for human dignity,” he says. “That fight goes ever on.”

The timeless guy walks again to the home the place purple wine, terere and the corporate of his kids and family anticipate week the solar begins to prepared over rural Paraguay. The principle subject of dialog across the lengthy desk this night time is the guideline of “Doctor Francia” – or “El Supremo” – Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia y Velasco, Paraguay’s first ruler following the rustic’s liberty from Spain in 1811. Like many in their neighbours, the kinfolk nonetheless craves for the long-ago while.

“If you look closer into Paraguayan history, you’ll find an alternative way of organising life, agriculture, land distribution and natural resources,” says Coronel. “For us who are unhappy with how things work in Paraguay, it’s an inspiration.”

Presen maximum Western intellectuals focal point at the mysticism and brutality that encapsulates Paraguay’s first sovereign societal mission, it’s Francia’s collectivism and resolution that deny herbal useful resource – be it land, H2O, air or crops – might be owned by way of non-public voters which might be the supply of inspiration amongst small-scale peasants in rural boxes equivalent to this.

Upcoming its liberty in 1811, the landlocked society had transform an separate island dominated by way of the “Dictator for Life”, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, whose coverage of self-sufficiency close the door to the arena. During Francia’s regime, Paraguay’s financial system was once rooted in jointly owned and collectively administered agriculture and livestock farming.

A member of Paraguay’s Fact and Justice Fee examines skeletal remainder discovered on the Nationwide Police Particular Forces headquarters in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. This was once the 14th skeleton discovered on the location which was once old as a clandestine jail throughout the army dictatorship of Normal Alfredo Stroessner [Jorge Saenz/AP]

What Paraguay lacked in actual political affect at the world level, it changed with “quiet pride,” writes historian Thomas Whigham. However Francia’s demise in 1840 opened the gates for unused actors, springing from the army garrisons, manoeuvring a geopolitical ground by which Argentina and Brazil seemed Paraguay as a rebellious breakaway province that should be reunited with the Motherland. Francia’s political collectivism – or “way of life,” as described by way of small-scale farmers in rural Paraguay – was once entombed by way of the “War of the Triple Alliance” (often referred to as the Paraguayan Struggle, 1864–1870).

The struggle remainder the bloodiest armed struggle in Latin The usa’s historical past throughout which an alliance shaped between Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay defeated its neighbour. Paraguay misplaced 25 % of its area and two-thirds of its crowd within the struggle or in next hunger and illnesses, between them 90 % of all grownup males.

Stroessner’s rule simply persevered Paraguay’s dramatic fall down within the 1870s. His rule “was not a classic military regime by any means”, writes the historian Nickson, however in lieu centred at the Colorado Celebration, which in some ways changed the circumstance itself because the important governmental establishment. The vertical energy construction of the “Stronismo” was once in line with a community of birthday celebration branches (“seccionales”) which acted as suppliers of social services and products in go back for birthday celebration commitment.

‘Paraguay’s Al Capone’ – the inheritor to Stroessner?

Paraguay has persevered to be dominated by way of patriarchal strongmen, predominantly springing from the Colorado Celebration. Upcoming the short-lived ambitious witchcraft throughout President Lugo, Horacio Cartes (president of Paraguay from 2013 to 2018 and now president of the Colorado Celebration) got here out at the alternative aspect of the Curuguaty bloodbath and the coup in June 2012, and has since next persevered to pay attention political and financial energy in some way that mirrors that of Stroessner. Upcoming having served as Paraguay’s president, Cartes now controls the Colorado Celebration and, as described by way of numerous eyewitnesses, “owns three-quarters of Congress”.

“Cartes was one of many products of the Stroessner era; an apt pupil of the dictatorship’s economic and political system,” says Aristides Ortiz, investigative reporter and essayist of the sovereign newspaper, Hina.

Right through Cartes’ presidency, many “narco-politicians” – the ones join to Paraguay’s profitable unlawful business of palms, cigarettes, and medication – have been elected to administrative center, making them depending on his prison coverage in alternate for political commitment.

On this April 5, 2013 document picture, Horacio Cartes, presidential candidate of the Colorado Celebration, dances throughout a marketing campaign rally in Capiata, Paraguay, the yr next Paraguay’s Senate got rid of then-President Fernando Lugo from administrative center in a fast impeachment trial [File: Jorge Saenz/AP]

Cartes, who has been dubbed “Paraguay’s Al Capone” by way of ex-President Mario Abdo Benitez (who served directly next Cartes from 2018 to 2023) started his ascent of the Colorado Celebration ladder as a businessman throughout the latter segment of the “Stronismo”. He spent a number of months in jail in 1986 and 1989 for foreign money fraud and a aircraft belonging to him, which was once sporting marijuana and cocaine, was once seized by way of the government on his non-public ranch in jap Paraguay, in 2000. Via a family-run conglomerate, the Cartes tribe owns huge swaths of land, controls numerous media shops, and exports profitable commodities equivalent to tobacco, meat and unlawful medication.

The rule of thumb of Cartes, first as president and due to this fact because the puppeteer controlling each the Colorado Celebration and Congress, workout routines energy in a profound and distinct means. It makes worth of the post-Stroessner put in constructions of democratic establishments to lend the oligarchy with capital, land titles and political leverage.

Cartes’ deepening keep an eye on over Paraguay do not have been imaginable with out the “strong party-weak state” courting established by way of Alfredo Stroessner. Corruption and mismanagement, as described by way of Nickson, lay the grassland for “the tolerance of smuggling by the armed forces of a range of goods, switching from mainly cigarettes and whisky in the early years of the regime to narcotics and arms” next Stroessner’s removing in 1989.

“The rule of Cartes is enormous and, above all, financial,” says Ortiz.  Cartes’ means of governing, he provides, is determined by the continued aid of the Colorado Celebration that has dragged Paraguay to the edge of “failed state” situation.

Paraguayans commemorate the thirtieth annualannually of the top of Alfredo Stroessner’s dictatorship in Asuncion, Paraguay on February 2, 2019 [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

In Would possibly 2022, Paraguay’s important anti-corruption prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, was once assassinated in entrance of his pregnant spouse throughout their honeymoon in Colombia. Consistent with Colombian police government, the homicide was once the results of a “highly planned transnational crime system” and Paraguay’s legal professional normal, Emiliano Rolon, is these days investigating Cartes’s “possible involvement” in Pecci’s demise.

Pecci turned into a blackmail to Paraguay’s organised crime teams via his border-crossing investigating initiative referred to as “Ultranza Py”, which effectively join crime teams in Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay to diverse contraband shipments.

Cartes was once “blacklisted” by way of america Circumstance Section in 2022, which labelled the ex-president as “significantly corrupt” with involvement in drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling, affiliation with Brazil’s greatest organised crime crew, Primeiro Comando da Capital, and ties to what it screams “foreign terrorist organisations” via Lebanese buying and selling companions within the triple frontier town, Ciudad del Este.

“In Cartes, Paraguay has found Stroessner’s true heir,” Mercedes Canese Antunez, former vice-secretary of mines and effort within the Lugo management, tells Al Jazeera.

Like Donald Trump, Cartes has shifted the anticipated commitment to the Colorado Celebration into private commitment, the place the door between community administrative center and the non-public sector has been got rid of. Cartes is conscious about his reliance on Stroessner’s political heritage, which is why the overdue dictator’s occasion of delivery, November 3, has been dubbed a “happy date” (fecha feliz) by way of the previous president.

Paraguayans take into account the murdered and lacking as they commemorate the top of Alfredo Stroessner’s rule in Asuncion, Paraguay on February 2, 2019 [Jorge Adorno/Reuters]

“When it comes to the ‘collective memory’ of the Stronismo, it depends on whose recollection of the past you talk about,” says Ortiz. “Since it’s the same party that governs Paraguay today, there’s no such thing as a collective memory or intention to remember the dictatorship in any real sense. Some remember and talk of the Stroessner dictatorship in a critical way, just as some like to talk about the ‘peace’ and ‘order’ of the Stronismo.”

In authoritarian states, even in the ones mysterious below the veil of sovereignty, nostalgia is an noteceable instrument. The 1954 coup might not be remembered fondly, however its next “stability” and “security” – in spite of some 18,000 homicides being reported within the press throughout the Stroessner dictatorship – are drawn on by way of conservative voices after they replicate the epoch of “Stronismo” in opposition to a contemporary community the place lack of confidence and crime are rampant.

Those voices, alternatively, fail to remember to say that the similar political birthday celebration and the overdue dictator’s heirs stay in general keep an eye on of Paraguay’s era.

“The concentration of power that Cartes has, the absolute majority of Congress, control over justice and the prosecutor’s office, in addition to the executive branch and most of the local and national governments, is unprecedented since the new democratic constitution was implemented,” concludes Mercedes Canese Antúnez. “The 1992 constitution was supposed to be the final nail in the coffin of Stronismo. It wasn’t.”

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