Paraguay one of South America’s least densely populated countries experienced more than three decades of dictatorship under Alfredo Stroessner who was ousted in 1989 and died in exile in 2006.

The end of his iron-fisted rule did not bring political stability. Factional splits led to the assassination of a vice-president the resignation of a president and an attempted coup.

Stroessner’s party the National Republican Association-Colorado Party survived his departure and remained in power until 2008. In elections in April it was defeated by the centre-left Patriotic Alliance for Change led by Fernando Lugo.