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How the Reign of Paraguay's Original Dictator Echoes to This Day

July 27, 2018

This article is adapted from AQ’s print issue on reducing homicide in Latin America. 

Dressed in breeches, a ruffled shirt and a menacing black cape, the actor jabs a finger at the Paraguayan sky. “They say I am the forger of the national character!” — he spreads his arms, imploringly — “but am I to blame for the future evils of my country?”

For nearly 30 years, Jorge Ramos has played the role of Dr. José Gaspar de Francia, first ruler of Paraguay and the country’s most...

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