ASUNCION – The historic leader of the Paraguayan Communist Party, Ananias Maidana, died early Saturday at the Welfare Institute hospital in Asuncion, the political leader’s family said. He was 87.
Maidana died at 3:00 a.m. this Saturday from complications of the prostate cancer he was suffering, family members said.
They said that a wake will be held for the politician’s remains at the Cultural Center of the Republic, the former seat of Congress, in downtown Asuncion.
The leader, who was one of the politicians most persecuted during the 1954-1989 Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship, was decorated on March 10 by Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo with the Great Cross of the National Order of Merit.
On that occasion, the president apologized in the name of the government and the nation to the PCP leader for “so much death and so much injustice” at the time of the dictatorship, during which at least 59 people were killed and another 336 were disappeared, according to the truth commission.
Maidana, who was extraparliamentary secretary-general of the PCP from 1989 until he died, was tortured and spent several years in jail.
He also ran for a Senate seat in the 2008 general elections, in which Lugo won the presidency representing the Patriotic Alliance for Change, a coalition to which the PCP also belonged.
That coalition brought an end to 61 years of uninterrupted rule by the conservative Colorado Party.