Latin America

Brazilian court order to dig up dark chapter of Paraguay’s past

Former dictator Alfredo Stroessner still haunts Paraguay. And this dark chapter of history is set to come back to the surface, literally

alfredo stroessner paraguay dictator
Paraguay Dictator Alfredo Stroessner. Photo: Archive

For 35 years, Alfredo Stroessner was the most powerful man in Paraguay. His government, between 1954 and 1989, was marked by relentless repression, state-sponsored murder, widespread corruption, and even rumors of a pedophile ring working under his auspices. Mr. Stroessner also turned his country into a safe haven for exiled Nazis, being a late-in-life home Dr. Josef Mengele, nicknamed the “Angel of Death” due to his experiments on children in Auschwitz. He would eventually drown on a Brazilian beach in 1979.

However, decades after Mr. Stroessner’s ouster, the dictator’s figure still haunts Paraguay — and a decision by a...

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