Capiata Travel Destinations

The Archive of Terror

On December 22nd of 1992, Martin Almada, a Paraguayan lawyer, former political prisoner, and human rights activist, discovered a cache of secret police documents from the Stroessner dictatorship in a police station in the Asuncion satellite city of Lambare. The archive, now known as the “Archivo del Terror ” (Archive of Terror) contained thousands of documents detailing the imprisonment of Stroessner-era political prisoners including transcripts and recordings of torture sessions. Martin Almada’s discovery shed light on the massive human rights violations that took place in Paraguay under Stroessner’s dictatorship. It also confirmed the existence of Operation Condor, a coordinated effort between military dictatorships of Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Bolivia to investigate, imprison, torture and exchange political opponents and suspected subversives during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The archive is now located at the Palacio de Justicia in Asuncion and is a valuable resource to those investigating and prosecuting dictatorship-era human rights violations. For more information contact Rosa Palau who is in charge of the archive. Tel: 595-21-424212/15 ext: 2269, cdya@pj.gov.py and cdya_py@hotmail.com

Many of the Archive of Terror documents are available online at the Centro de Documentation y Archivo Para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CDyA) website, which was developed with the help of the American National Security Archive: http://www.pi.gov.py/cdya/. An English-language version of Martin Almada’s book “Paraguay: The Forgotten Jail, a Country in Exile” is available at www.martinalmada.org/libro.html.

Asuncion’s Markets Mercado Cuatro

This large market’s epicenter is located in the middle of the city in the triangle formed by Avenida Silvio Petirossi, Avenida Dr. Francia, and Avenida Peru. From there it extends outward on all sides engulfing the surrounding streets in makeshift stalls. Everything and anything can be found in the Mercado Cuatro, from produce to electronics. The market is roughly divided by goods – wandering through you may stumble upon the yuyo (medicinal herbs) section -stores filled to the brim with dried plants – or the clothing section where you can purchase a myriad of cheap clothing imported from Brazil and China. Some of the market’s vendors are set up in galerias, each containing several storefronts. Other vendors have street side stands giving many parts of the market a claustrophobic, maze-like feel. Many of Asuncion’s immigrant communities (Chinese, Korean, Bolivian) are heavily represented within the market, selling specialty products and food. Mercado Cuatro is best visited in the morning when it is cooler out, as opposed to the afternoon when the heat can be unbearable. Wear comfortable shoes and do not take large bags – in some places, getting by shoppers can be a tight squeeze.

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