n August 17, President Trump made a statement about how "sad" he is over the removal of "our beautiful statues." The statues he's referring to are of Confederate soldiers and generals that serve as a symbol of oppression for millions of Americans. Now, many of these statues are being taken down across several states.
President Trump could learn a valuable lesson from a certain Paraguayan artist, who altered the statue of a brutal dictator in a shocking way to ensure his 35-year rule of terror would never be forgotten.
Laurence Blair, a journalist in South America, snapped a photo of this sculpture while visiting the Plaza de los Desaparecidos in Paraguay.
It depicts dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who served as the President of Paraguay from 1954 to 1989.
Stroessner rose to power after leading an army coup in 1954, which led to the longest repression in modern South American history.
The sculpture was created by Carlos Colombino, a prominent Paraguayan artist.
Colombino took the original statue, dismembered it, and pressed it between two huge blocks, encasing Stroessner in a concrete tomb.
The result is a graphic and powerful representation of what living under a dictatorship truly means.
Blair explained the context behind the powerful piece on his Twitter page.
Because Stroessner hated being referred to as a dictator, he created what he called “democracy without communism” through his political organization, the Colorado Party.
“Stroessner also garnered loyalty from the powerful armed forces by incorporating the military into the Colorado Party and doling out smuggling zones to his favorite officers. They reaped millions in contraband whiskey, perfume, stolen cars, cigarettes, narcotics and electronic goods. Paraguay, a California-size country that is South America’s second-poorest after Bolivia, is still plagued by the military-contraband system, known locally as “Stronismo,”‘ said Jack Epstein on SFGate.com.
The people of Paraguay made it very clear how they felt about the dictator after his exile.
The decision to “squash” Stroessner’s statue was clearly done to illustrate the atrocities he committed without erasing them completely from Paraguay’s history.