Alfredo Stroessner

Nov 3, 1912 - Aug 16, 2006

Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda was a Paraguayan army officer and politician who served as President of Paraguay from 15 August 1954 to 3 February 1989.
Stroessner led a coup d'état on 4 May 1954 with the support of the army and the Colorado Party, with which he was affiliated. After a brief provisional government headed by Tomás Romero Pereira, he was the Colorado Party's presidential candidate for the 1954 general election, and was elected unopposed since all other parties were banned.
He officially assumed the presidency on 15 August 1954, quickly suspended constitutional and civil rights, and began a period of harsh repression with the support of the army and the military police against anyone who opposed his authoritarian rule. Even when opposition parties were legalized in 1962, they were barely tolerated, and the repression continued. On 25 August 1967, he introduced a new constitution enabling him to re-elect himself; in 1977 he modified that constitution to permit himself to be re-elected indefinitely.
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