Asociación Paraguaya del Indígena

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Asociación Paraguaya del Indígena

Although Indian peoples have influenced Paraguayan society since its beginning, the Asociación Paraguaya del Indígena (API), the first representative body for those peoples, came into existence only in 1975. A national organization of Paraguay's seventeen indigenous groups, it drew its initial inspiration from the Proyecto Marandú, an Indian rights group founded by Paraguayan anthropologist Miguel Chase-Sardi. Despite the strong opposition of the Alfredo Stroessner regime to the development of this earlier group, it did receive some important international recognition. After the arrest of Chase-Sardi and other Marandú participants, however, international aid focused on the API, which over the next decade received more than $1 million in funding from the Inter-American Foundation. This support became as much a curse as a boon to the new organization, since it was the object of much bickering between mestizo advisers and Indian caciques. Eventually, the Stroessner government created its own state Indian welfare agency, the Instituto Nacional del Indígena (INDI), which attempted to siphon off a good measure of the foreign support for Paraguay's Indians.

See alsoIndigenous Organizations; Indigenous Peoples.


R. Andrew Nickson, Historical Dictionary of Paraguay, 2d ed. (1993), pp. 44, 295-297, 304-305, and 482.

Additional Bibliography

Bareiro Saguier, Ruben. La cultura paraguaya y el régimen militar. Montevideo: Universidad de la República, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación, Departamento de Publicaciones, 1994.

Horst, René Harder. The Stroessner Regime and Indigenous Resistance in Paraguay. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

                                     Thomas L. Whigham