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News > Paraguay

Mourning for Martín Almada, Human Rights Defender in Paraguay

  • Almada discovered more than three tons of files detailing torture during the military dictatorship.

    Almada discovered more than three tons of files detailing torture during the military dictatorship. | Photo: @cvuyk

Published 31 March 2024

Almada had been arrested and tortured on 26 November 1974 by the military regime of Alfredo Stroessner.

Martín Almada, the lawyer, activist and writer who discovered the 'Archives of Terror' of the dictatorship in Paraguay (1954-1989), and whose struggle, their loved ones say, remains "current" and "intact" was dismissed by their relatives and loved ones this Sunday.

Martín Almada died on Saturday at the age of 87, after a battle with a disease that kept him in hospital.


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On the death of this social fighter, the president of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, published, on Saturday night, in his X account: "Eternal gratitude for Martín Almada, teacher and freedom fighter".

Almada had been arrested on November 26 of that year by the regime of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989), who released him in 1977, when he went to Panama and later to Paris, where he worked for Unesco. He returned to his country in 1989, after the fall of the dictatorship.

A Habeas Data presented by Almada, the first since the Paraguayan Constitution of 1992, allowed to discover, on December 22 of that year, about three tons of documents in a police facility located in the town of Lambaré (neighboring Asunción) after a search ordered by Judge José Agustín Fernández.

The archive, declared by UNESCO World Documentary Heritage, includes documents on police repression in the country and that proved the existence of the 'Condor Plan', which involved the dictatorships of South America between 1970 and 1980.

His biographer and writer, Pablo Daniel Magee, indicated that Almada’s work is studied in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Colombia, Portugal, Argentina and Chile, among other countries. " Martín Almada physically disappeared, but his struggle remains intact and the resolution with which we will carry forward the cause of human rights is stronger than ever," he said.

"It is the proof that there is no obstacle that can stop the human being when he has a conviction," added this professor, who for Almada’s greatest legacy is the 'Archives of Terror'.

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