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Alfredo Stroessner

Alfredo Stroessner was the military dictator of Paraguay from 1954 to 1989. Under his regime Paraguay was a leading participant in Operation Condor, a campaign of state-terror and security operations officially implemented in 1975 which were jointly conducted by the right-wing military governments of six Latin American countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil). Human rights violations characteristic of those in other Latin American countries such as kidnapping, torture, forced disappearance and extrajudicial killing, were routine and systematic during the Stroessner regime. Following executions, many of the bodies of those killed by the regime were dumped in the Chaco or the Rio Paraguay. The discovery of the "Archives of Terror" in 1992 in the Lambaré suburb of Asunción, confirmed allegations of widespread human rights violations.

Pastor Coronel was the chief of the pyragüés (hairy-footed in Guaraní) or secret police. He would interview people in a pileta, a bath of human excrement or ram electric cattle prods up their rectums. The Secretary of the Paraguayan Communist Party was dismembered alive with a chainsaw while Stroessner listened on the phone.

Under Stroessner, egregious human rights violations were committed against the Aché Indian population of Paraguay's eastern districts. The Aché Indians resided on land that was coveted and had resisted relocation attempts by the Paraguayan army. The government retaliated with massacres and forced many Aché into slavery. In 1974 the UN accused Paraguay of slavery and genocide. Stroessner also sheltered many people including Juan Peron, Anastasio Somazao Debayle, Auguste Ricord and Josef Mengele. His rule remained unchallenged until he was overthrown in a coup by Andres Rodriguez. He was forced to live Brazil for 17 years. Following a bout of pneumonia he tried to return to his homeland but was forced back to Basilia where he died on 16 August 2006 at the age of 93 of complications following a hernia operation. The character Alfredo is named after him and his overthrow symbolises the overthrow of Mechanikat in  a coup.

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