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The Archives of Terror (Spanish: Archivos del Terror) are a collection of documents chronicling some of the illicit activities undertaken by Alfredo Stroessner's secret police force. The documents were originally found on December 22, 1992, by lawyer and human-rights activist Dr. Martín Almada, and judge José Agustín Fernández, in a police station in a suburb of Asunción (Lambaré), capital of Paraguay.[1] The documents were used in an attempt to prosecute Augusto Pinochet, human rights cases in Argentina and Chile, and to prove the existence of Operation Condor. [2]


Fernández was looking for files on a former prisoner. Instead, he found archives describing the fates of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay with cooperation of the CIA. This was known as Operation Condor.

The "terror archives" listed 50,000 people murdered, 30,000 people disappeared and 400,000 people imprisoned.[3][4] They also revealed that other countries such as Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela cooperated, to various degrees, by providing intelligence information that had been requested by the security services of the Southern Cone countries. Some of these countries have used portions of the archives, now in Asunción's Palace of Justice, to prosecute former military officers. Much of the case built against Chilean General Augusto Pinochet by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón was made using those archives. Almada, himself a victim of Condor, was twice interviewed by Baltasar Garzón.

"[The documents] are a mountain of ignominy, of lies, which Stroessner [Paraguay's dictator until 1989] used for 40 years to blackmail the Paraguayan people," states Almada.[1] He wants the UNESCO to list the "terror archives" as an international cultural site, as this would greatly facilitate access to funding to preserve and protect the documents.

In May 2000, a UNESCO mission visited Asunción following a request from the Paraguayan authorities for help in putting these files on the Memory of the World Register, one element of a program aimed at safeguarding and promoting the documentary heritage of humanity to ensure that records are preserved and available for consultation.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Paraguay's archive of terror". By Mike Ceaser. March 11, 2002. BBC.
  2. ^ "How Paraguay's 'Archive of Terror' put Operation Condor in focus". By Simon Watts. December 22, 2012. BBC.
  3. ^ Los Archivos del Horror del Operativo Cóndor by Stella Calloni, on Nizkor's website (in Spanish)
  4. ^ 1992: Archives of Terror Discovered. National Geographic. Retrieved August 26, 2015.


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