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Sabino Montanaro, 89; served in Paraguayan dictator’s Cabinet

Sabino Montanaro (right) in a 1980s photo with Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner (left). Sabino Montanaro (right) in a 1980s photo with Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner (left). (Ramon Adorno/Reuters)
Associated Press / September 12, 2011

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ASUNCION, Paraguay - Sabino Montanaro, a former Paraguayan interior minister known as the “cruel right hand’’ of the late dictator Alfredo Stroessner, died Saturday night. Mr. Montanaro was 89.

Human rights activist Martin Almada said Mr. Montanaro died at his home in the capital of Asuncion. Paraguayan news media also reported the death. Mr. Montanaro’s family doesn’t speak to the news media.

Mr. Montanaro served in Stroessner’s government from 1963 to Feb. 3, 1989, when the dictator was overthrown by a military coup after 35 years in power. Mr. Montanaro fled to Honduras and didn’t return until 2009.

A judge sentenced him to house arrest on charges related to the killing of government opponents in the 1970s and ’80s.

A Catholic bishop dubbed Mr. Montanaro the “cruel right hand of Stroessner.’’