How Paraguay’s ‘Archive of Terror’ put Operation Condor in focus

BBC, By Simon Watts, December 21

Twenty years ago Paraguayan lawyer Martin Almada got a tip-off that would change his life and help expose a vast operation run by South American military dictators to crush their political opponents.

He had been searching for 15 years for documents that would enable him to prove he had been tortured by the military dictatorship of Gen Alfredo Stroessner in the 1970s – and that his wife had been forced to listen to recordings of his ordeal.

Now, three years after Stroessner’s downfall, a woman on the other end of the phone was telling him she knew where to find them.


In fact, there were about 700,000 documents forming a complete record of the activities of the Paraguayan secret police over three decades – a cache that became known as the Archive of Terror.

For Almada, the papers would show doubters once and for all that he was telling the truth about his experiences as a prisoner in Paraguay between 1974 and 1977.

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