Foreword Reviews

El Reino del Terror

Un caso insólito vivido durante el reinado de Alfredo Stroessner, dictador de Paraguay 1954 - 1989 (Spanish Edition)

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

Part historical text and part political thriller frightening in its reality, El Reino del Terror presents a wealth of information on a tormented era in Latin America’s history.

El Reino del Terror: Un caso insólito vivido durante el reinado de Alfredo Stroessner, dictador de Paraguay 1954-1989 is the true story of the terrifying events that befell Swedish national Kim Ekemar and his Mexican wife, Susana García, during their time as detainees of the Stroessner regime. Ekemar offers a detailed investigation of one of the most vicious and corrupt dictatorships that the South American continent has ever known.

In 1982, two unsuspecting tourists—the author and his wife—were on a trip to South America, where they visited Paraguay and found themselves immersed in a nightmare. A trivial question asked at an inopportune moment led to their being held incommunicado by the police under suspicion of being terrorists.

Alfredo Stroessner’s thirty-five-year regime was the longest-lasting dictatorship in twentieth-century South America. Ekemar’s narrative, supported by personal experience and extensive research, paints a chilling picture of the pervasive human rights violations of his iron-fisted rule, which was marked by personal and political corruption, sexual depravity, and the protection of Nazi fugitives, drug traffickers, and terrorists.

The text contains reminders that the practice of torture was extensive under Stroessner, with political activists, journalists, peasants, teachers, intellectuals, indigenous tribes, children, and pregnant women among the targeted. Victims were flown out over the Paraná River and dropped to their deaths from airplanes.

Ekemar also reveals the extent to which the United States knew about, and was responsible for, the abuses that took place during “Operation Condor,” a Cold War-era campaign of political repression and state terror that involved intelligence operations and the assassination of opponents in South America and elsewhere. The program was intended to eradicate communism and Soviet influence in Latin America’s Southern Cone; sadly, one of the methods used was to prop up brutal right-wing dictatorships in the countries involved, supporting them with funds, training in effective methods of torture, and more. The book vividly and meticulously describes the treatment that Ekemar and his wife received while detained by the Paraguayan police, and their intense fear, powerlessness, and anger that such treatment could have been the result of a trivial act with no malice intended.

Front cover art, while graphic and disturbing, is appropriate for the nature and content of the book. To facilitate personal research, Ekemar has included ample listings of data, statistics, and online resources.

Part historical text and part political thriller frightening in its reality, El Reino del Terror presents a wealth of information on a tormented era in Latin America’s history. It is a powerful call for the truth to be recognized and taught, and a warning to us all of the perils of failing to honor our human rights and guard our freedom.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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