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Christine Folch

The Triple Frontier has long served as a hub of organized crime and smuggling. But thanks to the economic downturn, the merchants that once thrived on illicit trade are backing law and order.

Essay, Spring 1989
Riordan Roett

Contrary to most predictions, General Alfredo Stroessner's 35-year rule as dictator of land-locked Paraguay ended abruptly in a violent coup d'état. The world had become so accustomed to the taciturn and repressive ruler that it was generally assumed he would escape the fate of his fellow despots in the western hemisphere-Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Augusto Pinochet in Chile-and leave office at a moment of his own choosing or die in bed with his boots on. Instead, early on February 3, 1989, he fell victim to a squabble among the thieves without honor who dominate Paraguay. With the fall of Stroessner, the hemisphere's most durable remaining dictator is the more charismatic but no less authoritarian Fidel Castro.

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