The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Thomas E. Weil, Jan Knippers Black, Howard I. Blutstein, David S. McMorris, Frederick P. Munson, and Charles Townsend, who wrote the 1972 edition of the Area Handbook for Paraguay. Portions of their work were incorporated into the present volume.

The authors are grateful to individuals in various agencies of the United States government and private institutions who gave their time, research materials, and special knowledge to provide information and perspective. None of these agencies or institutions is in any way responsible for the work of the authors, however.

The authors also wish to thank those who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These include Richard F. Nyrop, who reviewed all drafts and served as liaison with the sponsoring agency; Barbara Dash, Deanna D'Errico, Vincent Ercolano, Richard Kollodge, and Sharon Shultz, who edited the chapters; Martha E. Hopkins, who managed editing and production; and Barbara Edgerton, Janie L. Gilchrist, and Izella Watson, who did the word processing. Catherine Schwartzstein performed the final prepublication editorial review. The Library of Congress Printing and Processing Section performed phototypesetting, under the supervision of Peggy Pixley.

David P. Cabitto, who was assisted by Sandra K. Cotugno and Kimberly A. Lord, provided invaluable graphics support. Susan M. Lender reviewed the map drafts, which were prepared by Harriett R. Blood, David P. Cabitto, and Sandra K. Cotugno. Sandra K. Cotugno also deserves special thanks for designing the illustrations for the book's cover and the title page of each chapter.

The authors also would like to thank several individuals who provided research support. Arvies J. Staton supplied information on military ranks and insignia, and Karen M. Sturges-Vera wrote the section on geography.

Finally, the authors acknowledge the generosity of the individuals and the public and private agencies who allowed their photographs to be used in this study. We are indebted especially to those who contributed original work not previously published.


Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary Paraguay. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; numerous periodicals; and interviews with individuals having special competence in Paraguayan and Latin American affairs. Measurements are given in the metric system.

Although there are numerous variations, Spanish surnames generally consist of two parts: the patronymic name followed by the matronymic. In the instance of Alfredo Stroessner Mattiauda, for example, Stroessner is his father's name, Mattiauda, his mother's maiden name. In informal use, the matronymic is often dropped. Thus, after the first mention, we have usually referred simply to Stroessner. A minority of individuals use only the patronymic. Special rules govern discussion of Francisco Solano López, who is referred to throughout this book as Solano López to differentiate him from his father, Carlos Antonio López.

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