Thursday, 8 May 2008

Paraguay: Torture Persists

Although this blog is primarily about the legacy of human rights issues in South America's past dictatorships, one of the ways in which the violent past intrudes on the present is in the persistence of authoritarian state institutions which may continue to employ intimidation and violence. We have seen in recent days that in Argentina, abductions and threats are still part of the political landscape, albeit not on the same scale as during the late 1970s.

In Paraguay, a 35 year dictatorship is obviously going to have far-reaching consequences. Anuncio Marti, a Paraguayan citizen in exile in Brazil, has testified that he was tortured for a period of two weeks by a variety of agents connected to the state in 2002. "After the military dictatorship, we didn’t think that the torture centres would continue to exist. We learned the hard way, by experience, and we were lucky to survive, when so many lost their lives," he said. Marti is unconvinced that the change of regime in Paraguay last month will succeed in sweeping away paramilitary and parapolice groups.

Torture Victim Still Fears Colorado Party 'Mafia' (IPS)

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