After taking the Paraguayan presidency through a military coup, General Alfredo Stroessner served as president from 15 August 1954 to 3 February 1989. Shortly after taking power, he declared a state of siege, which enabled him to suspend civil liberties every ninety days until 1987. He has been accused of human rights violations for his actions during these years in office.
In 1954, a young military officer, Alfredo Stroessner, organized a military coup and overthrew Paraguayan President Federico Chávez. A devoted anti-communist, Stroessner declared a state of siege and suspended constitutional freedoms for the entirety of his 35-year rule. Throughout Stroessner’s last two decades in power, indigenous people organized widely to oppose the negative effects that his massive development projects were having on their communities.