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About the website

The website of the archives of Paraguay's former Political Police, held in the Centro de documentación y archivo para la defensa de los derechos humanos (CdyA) at the High Court of Justice in Asunción, Paraguay, was developed by UNESCO's Information Society Division and launched on 25 July 2000.

The website is maintained by UNESCO's Information Society Division in close co-operation with the CdyA.

The website provides basic information on the collection of the Centre, which keeps documents of the Paraguayan Police during the Stroessner period (1954-1989). The Centre also holds documents related to the Operation Condor, a secret agreement on co-operation between the security forces of at least five Latin American military dictatorships.

UNESCO and the management of security archives of former repressive regimes

The preamble of UNESCO's Constitution, which stresses the importance of "unrestricted pursuit of objective truth" and of "the free exchange of ideas and knowledge" is the framework of UNESCO's interest in archives of former repressive regimes.

The adequate management of state security archives of former repressive regimes is not only a technical problem which administrators and archivists have to solve, but is an essentially ethical and political challenge for states which are ready to guarantee the liberties and responsibilities conferred by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In addition to their undoubted legal and scientific value, security archives of former repressive regimes withhold a heavy symbolic value as monuments of intellectual and physical terror. Therefore, their safekeeping, appropriate management and accessibility are important to society.

UNESCO, together with the International Council on Archives (ICA), established a group of experts to identify the various aspects of the management of security and intelligence archives. The group met for the first time in September 1994 at UNESCO Headquarters. The aim of the group was to develop safety standard controls for the preservation of and access to records of former repressive regimes as well as to develop guidelines for their appraisal, description and disposal, where appropriate. The group established guidelines to enable archivists in charge of the management of these archives to provide documentary to rehabilitate the rights and dignity of citizens concerned.


  • Archives of Former Repressive Regimes / A report prepared for UNESCO on behalf of the International Council on Archives by Antonio Gonzalez Quintana . - Paris : UNESCO, 1997 (E, S)


Axel Plathe, UNESCO, Information Society Division

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