Museo Quinta 17 de Octubre
San Vicente, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aurelia Tizón (m. 1929; her death 1938)
Eva Duarte (m. 1945; her death 1952)
Isabel Martínez Cartas (m. 1961; his death 1974)
Years of service
Perón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxwan doˈmiŋɡo
peˈɾon]; 8 October 1895 – 1 July 1974) was an
lieutenant general and politician. After serving in several government
positions, including Minister of Labour and Vice President, he was
thrice elected President of Argentina, serving from June 1946 to
September 1955, when he was overthrown in a coup d'état, and then
from October 1973 until his death in July 1974.
During his first presidential term (1946–52),
Perón was supported
by his second wife,
Eva Duarte ("Evita"), and the two were immensely
popular among many Argentines. Eva died in 1952, and
elected to a second term, serving from 1952 until 1955. During the
following period of two military dictatorships, interrupted by two
civilian governments, the
Peronist party was outlawed and
exiled. When the left-wing
Hector Cámpora was elected
President in 1973,
Perón returned to
Argentina and was soon after
elected President for a third time. His third wife, María Estela
Martínez, known as Isabel Perón, was elected as Vice President on
his ticket and succeeded him as President upon his death in 1974.
Although they are still controversial figures, Juan and Evita Perón
are nonetheless considered icons by the Peronists. The Peróns'
followers praised their efforts to eliminate poverty and to dignify
labour, while their detractors considered them demagogues and
dictators. The Peróns gave their name to the political movement known
as Peronism, which in present-day
Argentina is represented mainly by
the Justicialist Party.
Peronism is a political phenomenon that draws support from both the
political left and political right.
Peronism is not considered a
traditional party, but a political movement, because of the wide
variety of people who call themselves Peronists, and there is great
controversy surrounding his personality. The following Argentinian
presidents were Peronists: Héctor Cámpora, Isabel Perón, Carlos
Menem, Eduardo Duhalde,
Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner.
1 Childhood and youth
2 Army career
3 Military government of 1943–1946
4 Perón's first term (1946–1952)
4.1 Domestic policy
4.2 Foreign policy and adversaries
4.3 Growth and limitations
4.4 Focus on infrastructure
5 Eva Perón's influence and contribution
6 Opposition and repression
Perón and Fascism
7.1 Protection of Nazi war criminals
Perón and the Jewish and German communities of Argentina
8 Perón's second term
9 Exile (1955–1973)
Che Guevara and Perón
10 Perón's third term (1973–1974)
10.1 Relationship with Allende and Pinochet
Mausoleum and legacy
13 Further reading
14 External links
Childhood and youth
Main article: Early life of Juan Perón
Patio inside the home in
Perón was born.
Perón was born in
Lobos, Buenos Aires
Lobos, Buenos Aires Province, on 8
October 1895. He was the son of Juana Sosa Toledo and Mario Tomás
Perón branch of his family was originally Sardinian, from
which his great-grandfather emigrated in the 1830s; in later life
Perón would publicly express his pride in his Sardinian roots. He
also had Spanish and French Basque ancestry.
Perón's great-grandfather became a successful shoe merchant in Buenos
Aires, and his grandfather was a prosperous physician; his death in
1889 left his widow nearly destitute, however, and Perón's father
moved to then-rural Lobos, where he administered an estancia and met
his future wife. The couple had their two sons out of wedlock and
married in 1901.
His father moved to the Patagonia region that year, where he later
purchased a sheep ranch. Juan himself was sent away in 1904 to a
boarding school in
Buenos Aires directed by his paternal grandmother,
where he received a strict Catholic upbringing. His father's
undertaking ultimately failed, and he died in
Buenos Aires in 1928.
The youth entered the National Military College in 1911 at age 16 and
graduated in 1913. He excelled less in his studies than in athletics,
particularly boxing and fencing.
Perón (left) and
General José Uriburu (middle), with whose
right-wing coup in 1930 he collaborated.
Perón backed the more
General Agustín Justo, however.
Perón began his military career in an Infantry post in Paraná, Entre
Ríos. He went on to command the post, and in this capacity mediated a
prolonged labor conflict in 1920 at La Forestal, then a leading firm
in forestry in Argentina. He earned instructor's credentials at the
Superior War School, and in 1929 was appointed to the Army General
Perón married his first wife, Aurelia Tizón
Perón fondly called her), on 5 January 1929.
Perón was recruited by supporters of the director of the War Academy,
General José Félix Uriburu, to collaborate in the latter's plans for
a military coup against President Hipólito Yrigoyen. Perón, who
General Agustín Justo, was banished to a remote
post in northwestern
Argentina after Uriburu's successful coup in
September 1930. He was promoted to the rank of Major the following
year and named to the faculty at the Superior War School, however,
where he taught military history and published a number of treatises
on the subject. He served as military attaché in the Argentine
Embassy in Chile from 1936 to 1938, and returned to his teaching post.
His wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer that year, and died on 10
September at age 30; the couple had no children.
Perón was assigned by the War Ministry to study mountain warfare in
Italian Alps in 1939. He also attended the
University of Turin
University of Turin for
a semester and served as a military observer in countries across
Europe. He studied Benito Mussolini's Italian Fascism, Nazi Germany,
and other European governments of the time, concluding in his summary,
Apuntes de historia militar (Notes about military history), that
social democracy could be a viable alternative to liberal democracy
(which he viewed as a veiled plutocracy) or totalitarian regimes
(which he viewed as oppressive). He returned to
Argentina in 1941,
and served as an Army skiing instructor in Mendoza Province.
Military government of 1943–1946
Main article: 1943
Argentine coup d'état
Argentina during World War II
Edelmiro Farrell (left) and his benefactor, Vice President
Juan Perón, in April 1945.
In 1943 a coup d'état was led by
Arturo Rawson against
conservative President Ramón Castillo, who had been fraudulently
elected to office. The military was opposed to Governor Robustiano
Patrón Costas, Castillo's hand-picked successor, who was the
principal landowner in Salta Province, as well as a main stockholder
in its sugar industry.
As a colonel and his power of premier minister,
Perón took a
significant part in the military coup by the GOU (United Officers'
Group, a secret society) against the conservative civilian government
of Castillo. At first an assistant to
Secretary of War
Secretary of War General
Edelmiro Farrell, under the administration of
General Pedro Ramírez,
he later became the head of the then-insignificant Department of
Labour. Perón's work in the Labour Department witnessed the passage
of a broad range of progressive social reforms designed to improve
working conditions, and led to an alliance with the socialist and
syndicalist movements in the
Argentine labour unions. This caused his
power and influence to increase in the military government.
After the coup, socialists from the CGT-Nº1 labour union, through
mercantile labour leader
Ángel Borlenghi and railway union lawyer
Juan Atilio Bramuglia, made contact with
Perón and fellow GOU Colonel
Domingo Mercante. They established an alliance to promote labour laws
that had long been demanded by the workers' movement, to strengthen
the unions, and to transform the Department of Labour into a more
significant government office.
Perón had the Department of Labour
elevated to a cabinet-level secretariat in November 1943.
Demonstration for Perón's release on 17 October 1945
Following the devastating January 1944 San Juan earthquake, which
claimed over 10,000 lives and leveled the
Andes range city, Perón
became nationally prominent in relief efforts. Junta leader Pedro
Ramírez entrusted fundraising efforts to him, and
celebrities from Argentina's large film industry and other public
figures. For months, a giant thermometer hung from the Buenos Aires
Obelisk to track the fundraising. The effort's success and relief for
earthquake victims earned
Perón widespread public approval. At this
time, he met a minor radio matinee star, Eva Duarte.
The Peróns at their 1945 wedding
Following President Ramírez's January 1944 suspension of diplomatic
relations with the
Axis Powers (against whom the new junta would
declare war in March 1945), the GOU junta unseated him in favor of
General Edelmiro Farrell. For contributing to his success,
appointed Vice President and Secretary of War, while retaining his
Labour portfolio. As Minister of Labour,
Perón established the INPS
(the first national social insurance system in Argentina), settled
industrial disputes in favour of labour unions (as long as their
leaders pledged political allegiance to him), and introduced a wide
range of social welfare benefits for unionised workers.
Employers were forced to improve working conditions and to provide
severance pay and accident compensation, the conditions under which
workers could be dismissed were restricted, a system of labour courts
to handle the grievances of workers was established, the working day
was reduced in various industries, and paid holidays/vacations were
generalised to the entire workforce.
Perón also passed a law
providing minimum wages, maximum hours and vacations for rural
workers, froze rural rents, presided over a large increase in rural
wages, and helped lumber, wine, sugar and migrant workers organize
themselves. From 1943 to 1946, real wages grew by only 4%, but in 1945
Perón established two new institutions that would later increase
wages: the “aguinaldo” (a bonus that provided each worker with a
lump sum at the end of the year amounting to one-twelfth of the annual
wage) and the National Institute of Compensation, which implemented a
minimum wage and collected data on living standards, prices, and
wages. Leveraging his authority on behalf of striking abattoir
workers and the right to unionise,
Perón became increasingly thought
of as presidential timber.
On 18 September 1945, he delivered an address billed as "from work to
home and from home to work". The speech, prefaced by an excoriation of
the conservative opposition, provoked an ovation by declaring that
"we've passed social reforms to make the
Argentine people proud to
live where they live, once again." This move fed growing rivalries
Perón and on 9 October 1945, he was forced to resign by
opponents within the armed forces. Arrested four days later, he was
released due to mass demonstrations organised by the CGT and other
supporters; 17 October was later commemorated as Loyalty Day. His
paramour, Eva Duarte, became hugely popular after helping organize the
demonstration; known as "Evita", she helped
Perón gain support with
labour and women's groups. She and
Perón were married on 22
Perón's first term (1946–1952)
Perón with military uniform, drinking coffee.
Perón at his 1946 inaugural parade.
Perón and his running mate, Hortensio Quijano, leveraged popular
support to victory over a Radical Civic Union-led opposition alliance
by about 11% in the February 24, 1946 presidential elections.
Perón's candidacy on the Labor Party ticket, announced the day after
17 October 1945, mobilization, became a lightning rod that rallied an
unusually diverse opposition against it. The majority of the centrist
Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union (UCR), the Socialist Party, the Communist Party
and most of the conservative
National Autonomist Party
National Autonomist Party (in power
during most of the 1874–1916 era) had already been forged into a
fractious alliance in June by interests in the financial sector and
the chamber of commerce, united solely by the goal of keeping Perón
from the Casa Rosada. Organizing a massive kick-off rally in front of
Congress on 8 December, the Democratic Union nominated José Tamborini
and Enrique Mosca, two prominent UCR congressmen. The alliance failed
to win over several prominent lawmakers, such as Congressmen Ricardo
Arturo Frondizi and former Córdoba governor Amadeo
Sabattini, all of whom opposed the Union's ties to conservative
interests. In a bid to support their campaign, US Ambassador Spruille
Braden published a white paper, otherwise known as the Blue Book
accusing Perón, President Farrell and others of Fascist ties. Fluent
in Spanish, Braden addressed Democratic Union rallies in person, but
his move backfired when
Perón summarized the election as a choice
Perón or Braden". He also rallied further support by
responding to the "Blue Book" with his own "Blue and White Book",
which was a play-off of the
Argentine flag colors, and focused on the
antagonism of Yankee imperialism. He persuaded the president to
sign the nationalization of the Central Bank and the extension of
mandatory Christmas bonuses, actions that contributed to his decisive
Ángel Borlenghi, an erstwhile socialist who, as Interior Minister,
oversaw new labor courts and the opposition's activities.
Perón became president on 4 June 1946, his two stated goals were
social justice and economic independence. These two goals avoided Cold
War entanglements from choosing between capitalism and socialism, but
he had no concrete means to achieve those goals.
Perón instructed his
economic advisers to develop a five-year plan with the goals of
increasing workers' pay, achieving full employment, stimulating
industrial growth of over 40% while diversifying the sector (then
dominated by food processing), and greatly improving transportation,
communication, energy and social infrastructure (in the private, as
well as public, sectors).
Perón's planning prominently included political considerations.
Numerous military allies were fielded as candidates, notably Colonel
Domingo Mercante who, when elected Governor of the paramount Province
of Buenos Aires, became renowned for his housing program. Having
brought him to power, the
General Confederation of Labour (CGT) was
given overwhelming support by the new administration, which introduced
labour courts and filled its cabinet with labor union appointees, such
Juan Atilio Bramuglia
Juan Atilio Bramuglia (Foreign Ministry) and Ángel Borlenghi
(Interior Ministry, which, in Argentina, oversees law enforcement). It
also made room for amenable wealthy industrialists (Central Bank
President Miguel Miranda) and socialists such as José Figuerola, a
Spanish economist who had years earlier advised that nation's
ill-fated regime of Miguel Primo de Rivera. Intervention of their
behalf by Perón's appointees encouraged the CGT to call strikes in
the face of employers reluctant to grant benefits or honor new labor
legislation. Strike activity (with 500,000 working days lost in 1945)
leapt to 2 million in 1946 and to over 3 million in 1947, helping
wrest needed labor reforms, though permanently aligning large
employers against the Peronists. Labor unions grew in ranks from
around 500,000 to over 2 million by 1950, primarily in the CGT,
which has since been Argentina's paramount labor union. As the
country's labor force numbered around 5 million people at the
time, Argentina's labor force was the most unionized in South
Perón (right) signs the nationalization of British-owned
railways watched by Ambassador Sir Reginald Leeper, March 1948.
During the first half of the 20th century, a widening gap had existed
between the classes;
Perón hoped to close it through the increase of
wages and employment, making the nation more pluralistic and less
reliant on foreign trade. Before taking office in 1946, President
Perón took dramatic steps which he believed would result in a more
economically independent Argentina, better insulated from events such
as World War II. He thought there would be another international
war. The reduced availability of imports and the war's beneficial
effects on both the quantity and price of
Argentine exports had
combined to create a US$1.7 billion cumulative surplus during
In his first two years in office,
Perón nationalized the Central Bank
and paid off its billion-dollar debt to the Bank of England;
nationalized the railways (mostly owned by British and French
companies), merchant marine, universities, public utilities, public
transport (then, mostly tramways); and, probably most significantly,
created a single purchaser for the nation's mostly export-oriented
grains and oilseeds, the Institute for the Promotion of Trade (IAPI).
IAPI wrested control of Argentina's famed grain export sector from
entrenched conglomerates such as Bunge y Born; but when commodity
prices fell after 1948, it began shortchanging growers. IAPI
profits were used to fund welfare projects, while internal demand was
encouraged by large wage increases given to workers; average real
wages rose by about 35% from 1945 to 1949, while during that same
period, labor's share of national income rose from 40% to 49%.
Access to health care was also made a universal right by the Workers'
Bill of Rights enacted on 24 February 1947 (subsequently incorporated
into the 1949 Constitution as Article 14-b), while social security
was extended to virtually all members of the
From 1946 to 1951, the number of Argentinians covered by social
security more than tripled, so that in 1951 more than 5 million people
(70% of the economically active population) were covered by social
security. Health insurance also spread to new industries, including
banking and metalworking. Between 1945 and 1949, real wages went up by
22%, fell between 1949 and 1952, and then increased again from 1953 to
1955, ending up at least 30% higher than in 1946. In proportional
terms, wages rose from 41% of national income in 1946-48 to 49% in
1952-55. The boost in the real incomes of workers was encouraged by
government policies such as the enforcement of minimum wage laws,
controls on the prices of food and other basic consumption items, and
extending housing credits to workers.
Foreign policy and adversaries
Perón first articulated his foreign policy, the "Third Way", in 1949.
This policy was developed to avoid the binary
Cold War divisions and
keep other world powers, such as the United States and the Soviet
Union, as allies rather than enemies. He restored diplomatic relations
with the Soviet Union, severed since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918,
and opened grain sales to the shortage-stricken Soviets.
U.S. policy restricted
Argentine growth during the
Perón years; by
placing embargoes on Argentina, the United States hoped to discourage
the nation in its pursuit of becoming economically sovereign during a
time when the world was divided into two influence spheres. U.S.
interests feared losing their stake, as they had large commercial
investments (over a billion dollars) vested in
Argentina through the
oil and meat packing industries, besides being a mechanical goods
provider to Argentina. His ability to effectively deal with points of
contention abroad was equally hampered by Perón's own mistrust of
potential rivals, which harmed foreign relations with Bramuglia's 1949
The rising influence of American diplomat George F. Kennan, a staunch
anti-communist and champion of containment, fed U.S. suspicions that
Argentine goals for economic sovereignty and neutrality were Perón's
disguise for a resurgence of communism in the Americas. The U.S.
Congress took a dislike of
Perón and his government. In 1948 they
Argentine exports from the Marshall Plan, the landmark Truman
administration effort to combat communism and help rebuild war-torn
European nations by offering U.S. aid. This contributed to Argentine
financial crises after 1948 and, according to
Perón biographer Joseph
Marshall Plan drove a final nail into the coffin that bore
Perón's ambitions to transform
Argentina into an industrial power".
The policy deprived
Argentina of potential agricultural markets in
Western Europe to the benefit of Canadian exporters, for instance.
As relations with the U.S. deteriorated,
Perón made efforts to
mitigate the misunderstandings, which was made easier after President
Harry Truman replaced the hostile Braden with Ambassador George
Messersmith. He negotiated the release of
Argentine assets in the U.S.
in exchange for preferential treatment for U.S. goods, followed by
Argentine ratification of the Act of Chapultepec, a centerpiece of
Truman's Latin America policy. He even proposed the enlistment of
Argentine troops into the
Korean War in 1950 under UN auspices (a move
retracted in the face of public opposition).
Perón was opposed to
borrowing from foreign credit markets, preferring to float bonds
domestically. He refused to enter the
General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (precursor to the World Trade Organization) or the International
Perón took an active interest in the development of
sports in Argentina, hosting international events and sponsoring
athletes such as the boxing great
José María Gatica
José María Gatica (left).
Believing that international sports created goodwill, however, Perón
hosted the 1950 World Basketball Championship and the 1951 Pan
American Games, both of which
Argentine athletes won resoundingly. He
also sponsored numerous notable athletes, including the five-time
Formula 1 world champion, Juan Manuel Fangio, who, without this
funding, would have most likely never competed in Europe. His bid to
host the 1956 Olympic Games in
Buenos Aires was defeated by the
International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee by one vote.
Growth and limitations
Economic success was short-lived. Following a lumbering recovery
during 1933 to 1945, from 1946 to 1953
Argentina gained benefits from
Perón's five-year plan. The GDP expanded by over a fourth during that
brief boom, about as much as it had during the previous decade. Using
roughly half the US$1.7 billion in reserves inherited from
wartime surpluses for nationalizations, economic development agencies
devoted most of the other half to finance both public and private
investments; the roughly 70% jump in domestic fixed investment was
accounted for mostly by industrial growth in the private sector.
All this much-needed activity exposed an intrinsic weakness in the
plan: it subsidized growth which, in the short term, led to a wave of
imports of the capital goods that local industry could not supply.
Whereas the end of World War II had allowed
Argentine exports to rise
from US$700 million to US$1.6 billion, Perón's changes led
to skyrocketing imports (from US$300 million to
US$1.6 billion), and erased the surplus by 1948.
Perón's bid for economic independence was further complicated by a
number of inherited external factors. Great Britain owed Argentina
over 150 million pounds Sterling (nearly US$650 million) from
agricultural exports to that nation during the war. This debt was
mostly in the form of
Argentine Central Bank reserves which, per the
1933 Roca-Runciman Treaty, were deposited in the Bank of England. The
money was useless to the
Argentine government, because the treaty
Bank of England
Bank of England to hold the funds in trust, something British
planners could not compromise on as a result of that country's debts
accrued under the Lend-Lease Act.
The nation's need for U.S. made capital goods increased, though
ongoing limits on the Central Bank's availability of hard currency
hampered access to them. Argentina's pound Sterling surpluses earned
after 1946 (worth over US$200 million) were made convertible to
dollars by a treaty negotiated by Central Bank President Miguel
Miranda; but after a year, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee
suspended the provision.
Perón accepted the transfer of over
24,000 km (15,000 mi) of British-owned railways (over half
the total in Argentina) in exchange for the debt in March 1948. Due to
political disputes between
Perón and the U.S. government (as well as
to pressure by the U.S. agricultural lobby through the Agricultural
Act of 1949),
Argentine foreign exchange earnings via its exports to
the United States fell, turning a US$100 million surplus with the
United States into a US$300 million deficit. The combined
pressure practically devoured Argentina's liquid reserves and Miranda
issued a temporary restriction on the outflow of dollars to U.S.
banks. The nationalization of the
Port of Buenos Aires
Port of Buenos Aires and domestic
and foreign-owned private cargo ships, as well as the purchase of
others, nearly tripled the national merchant marine to
1.2 million tons' displacement, reducing the need for over
US$100 million in shipping fees (then the largest source of
Argentina's invisible balance deficit) and leading to the inauguration
of the Río Santiago Shipyards at Ensenada (on line to the present
Repairs at the Río Santiago Shipyards
Exports fell sharply, to around US$1.1 billion during the
1949–54 era (a severe 1952 drought trimmed this to
US$700 million), due in part to a deterioration in terms of
trade of about a third. The Central Bank was forced to devalue the
peso at an unprecedented rate: the peso lost about 70% of its value
from early 1948 to early 1950, leading to a decline in the imports
fueling industrial growth and to recession. Short of central bank
Perón was forced to borrow US$125 million from the
U.S. Export-Import Bank
U.S. Export-Import Bank to cover a number of private banks' debts to
U.S. institutions, without which their insolvency would have become a
central bank liability. Austerity and better harvests in 1950
helped finance a recovery in 1951; but inflation, having risen from
13% in 1948 to 31% in 1949, reached 50% in late 1951 before
stabilizing, and a second, sharper recession soon followed.
Workers' purchasing power, by 1952, had declined 20% from its 1948
high and GDP, having leapt by a fourth during Perón's first two
years, saw zero growth from 1948 to 1952. (The U.S. economy, by
contrast, grew by about a fourth in the same interim). After 1952,
however, wages began rising in real terms once more.
The increasing frequency of strikes, increasingly directed against
Perón as the economy slid into stagflation in late 1954, was dealt
with through the expulsion of organizers from the CGT ranks. To
consolidate his political grasp on the eve of colder economic winds,
Perón called for a broad constitutional reform in September. The
elected convention (whose opposition members soon resigned) approved
the wholesale replacement of the 1853 Constitution of
Argentina with a
new magna carta in March, explicitly guaranteeing social reforms; but
also allowing the mass nationalization of natural resources and public
services, as well as the re-election of the president.
Focus on infrastructure
Emphasizing an economic policy centerpiece dating from the 1920s,
Perón made record investments in Argentina's infrastructure.
Investing over US$100 million to modernize the railways
(originally built on a myriad of incompatible gauges), he also
nationalized a number of small, regional air carriers, forging them
Aerolíneas Argentinas in 1950. The airline, equipped with 36 new
DC-4 aircraft, was supplemented with a new international
airport and a 22 km (14 mi) freeway into Buenos Aires. This
freeway was followed by one between
Rosario and Santa Fe.
Reservoir of the Valle Grande hydroelectric dam, near San Rafael,
A hospital near Rosario, one of hundreds built during the
Perón had mixed success in expanding the country's inadequate
electric grid, which grew by only one fourth during his tenure.
Argentina's installed hydroelectric capacity, however, leapt from 45
to 350 MW during his first term (to about a fifth of the total public
grid). He promoted the fossil fuel industry by ordering these
resources nationalized, inaugurating
Río Turbio (Argentina's only
active coal mine), having natural gas flared by the state oil firm YPF
captured, and establishing Gas del Estado. The 1949 completion of a
gas pipeline between
Comodoro Rivadavia and
Buenos Aires was another
significant accomplishment in this regard. The 1,700 km
(1,060 mi) pipeline allowed natural gas production to rise
quickly from 300,000 m3 to 15 million m3 daily, making the
country self-sufficient in the critical energy staple; the pipeline
was, at the time, the longest in the world.
Propelled by an 80% increase in output at the state-owed energy firm
YPF, oil production rose from 3.3 million m3 to over
4.8 million m3 during Perón's tenure; but since most
manufacturing was powered by on-site generators and the number of
motor vehicles grew by a third, the need for oil imports grew from
40% to half of the consumption, costing the national balance sheet
over US$300 million a year (over a fifth of the import bill).
Perón's government is remembered for its record social investments.
He introduced a Ministry of Health to the cabinet; its first head, the
neurologist Ramón Carrillo, oversaw the completion of over 4,200
health care facilities. Related works included construction of
more than 1,000 kindergartens and over 8,000 schools, including
several hundred technological, nursing and teachers' schools, among an
array of other public investments. The new Minister of Public
General Juan Pistarini, oversaw the construction of 650,000
new, public sector homes, as well as of the international airport, one
of the largest in the world at the time. The reactivation of the
dormant National Mortgage Bank spurred private-sector housing
development: averaging over 8 units per 1,000 inhabitants (150,000 a
year), the pace was, at the time, at par with that of the United
States and one of the highest rates of residential construction in the
Production line at the state military industries facility, 1950; on
line since 1927, Perón's budgets modernized and expanded the complex.
Perón modernized the
Argentine Armed Forces, particularly its Air
Force. Between 1947 and 1950,
Argentina manufactured two advanced jet
aircraft: Pulqui I (designed by the
Argentine engineers Cardehilac,
Morchio and Ricciardi with the French engineer Émile Dewoitine,
condemned in France in absentia for collaborationism), and Pulqui II,
designed by German engineer Kurt Tank. In the test flights, the planes
were flown by Lieutenant Edmundo Osvaldo Weiss and Tank, reaching
1,000 km/h (620 mph) with the Pulqui II.
testing the Pulqui II until 1959; in the tests, two pilots lost their
lives. The Pulqui project opened the door to two successful
Argentinian planes: the
IA 58 Pucará
IA 58 Pucará and the IA 63 Pampa,
manufactured at the Aircraft Factory of Córdoba.
Perón announced in 1951 that the
Huemul Project would produce nuclear
fusion before any other country. The project was led by an Austrian,
Ronald Richter, who had been recommended by Kurt Tank. Tank expected
to power his aircraft with Richter's invention.
Perón announced that
energy produced by the fusion process would be delivered in
milk-bottle sized containers. Richter announced success in 1951, but
no proof was given. The next year,
Perón appointed a scientific team
to investigate Richter's activities. Reports by José Antonio Balseiro
and Mario Báncora revealed that the project was a fraud. After that,
Huemul Project was transferred to the Centro Atómico Bariloche
(CAB) of the new
National Atomic Energy Commission
National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and to the
physics institute of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, later named
Instituto Balseiro (IB). According to a recently aired History
Channel documentary, the secrecy, Nazi connections, declassified US
intelligence documents, and military infrastructure located around the
remote facility all argue for the more likely objective of atomic bomb
Argentine navy actually bombed multiple buildings in
1955 - an unusual method of decommissioning a legitimate research
Eva Perón's influence and contribution
Eva Perón (left) tending to the needy in her capacity as
head of her foundation
Eva Perón was instrumental as a symbol of hope to the common laborer
during the first five-year plan. When she died in 1952, the year of
the presidential elections, the people felt they had lost an ally.
Coming from humble origins, she was loathed by the elite but adored by
the poor for her work with the sick, elderly, and orphans. It was due
to her behind-the-scenes work that women's suffrage was granted in
1947 and a feminist wing of the 3rd party in
Argentina was formed.
Simultaneous to Perón's five-year plans, Evita supported a women's
movement that concentrated on the rights of women, the poor and the
Although her role in the politics of Perón's first term remains
disputed, Eva introduced social justice and equality into the national
discourse. She stated, "It is not philanthropy, nor is it charity...
It is not even social welfare; to me, it is strict justice... I do
nothing but return to the poor what the rest of us owe them, because
we had taken it away from them unjustly."
Partial view of the "Children's Republic" theme park.
She established the
Eva Perón Foundation in 1948, which was perhaps
the greatest contribution to her husband's social policy. Enjoying an
annual budget of around US$50 million (nearly 1% of GDP at the
time), the Foundation had 14,000 employees and founded hundreds of
new schools, clinics, old-age homes and holiday facilities; it also
distributed hundreds of thousands of household necessities,
physicians' visits and scholarships, among other benefits. Among the
best-known of the Foundation's many large construction projects are
the Evita City development south of
Buenos Aires (25,000 homes) and
the "Republic of the Children", a theme park based on tales from the
Brothers Grimm. Following Perón's 1955 ousting, twenty such
construction projects were abandoned incomplete and the foundation's
US$290 million endowment was liquidated.
An August 1951 rally organized by the CGT for a Perón-Evita ticket
failed to overcome military objections to her, and the ailing first
The portion of the five-year plans which argued for full employment,
public healthcare and housing, labour benefits, and raises are a
result of Eva's influence on the policy-making of
Perón in his first
term, as historians note that at first he simply wanted to keep
imperialists out of
Argentina and create effective businesses. The
humanitarian relief efforts embedded in the five-year plan are Eva's
creation, which endeared the
Peronist movement to the working-class
people from which Eva had come. Her strong ties to the poor and her
position as Perón's wife brought credibility to his promises during
his first presidential term and ushered in a new wave of supporters.
The first lady's willingness to replace the ailing Hortensio Quijano
as Perón's running mate for the 1951 campaign was defeated by her own
frail health and by military opposition. A 22 August rally organized
for her by the CGT on Buenos Aires' wide
Nueve de Julio Avenue
Nueve de Julio Avenue failed
to turn the tide. On 28 September, elements in the
Argentine Army led
General Benjamín Andrés Menéndez attempted a coup against
Perón. Although unsuccessful, the mutiny marked the end of the first
lady's political hopes. She died the following July.
Opposition and repression
Among upper-class Argentines, improvement of the workers' situation
was a source of resentment; industrial workers from rural areas had
formerly been treated as servants. It was common for better-off
Argentines to refer to these workers using classist slurs like "little
black heads" (cabecitas negras, the name of a bird), "greased" (grasas
which came from people with grease on their hands or fingernails,
i.e., blue-collar workers), "shirtless" (descamisados, since they
doffed their shirts to perform manual labor). Conservative Radical
Civic Union Congressman Ernesto Sammartino mused that Perón's voters
were a "zoological flood" (aluvión zoológico). In the 1940s,
upper-class students were the first to oppose
Peronist workers, with
the slogan: "No to cheap shoe dictatorship" (No a la dictadura de las
alpargatas). A graffiti revealing the strong opposition between
Peronists and anti-Peronists appeared in upper-class districts in the
1950s, "Long live cancer!" (¡Viva el cáncer!), when
Eva Perón was
ill. She died of cervical cancer in 1952 at the age of
At a time when credentialed teaching personnel were in short supply,
Perón had fired more than 1,500 university faculty who opposed
him. These included Nobel laureate Bernardo Houssay, a
University of La Plata
University of La Plata physicist Rafael Grinfeld,
painter Emilio Pettoruti, art scholars
Pío Collivadino and Jorge
Romero Brest, and noted author Jorge Luis Borges, who was appointed
"poultry inspector" at the
Buenos Aires Municipal Wholesale Market (a
post he refused). Many faculty left the country and migrated to
Mexico or the United States. Weiss recalls events in the universities:
As a young student in
Buenos Aires in the early 1950s, I well remember
the graffiti found on many an empty wall all over town: "Build the
Fatherland. Kill a Student" (Haga patria, mate un estudiante). Perón
opposed the universities, which questioned his methods and his goals.
A well-remembered slogan was, Alpargatas sí, libros no ("Shoes? Yes!
Books? No!"). Universities were then 'intervened'. In some, a Peronist
mediocre was appointed principal. Others were closed for
years."(Weiss, 2005, p. 45)
The labor movement that had brought
Perón to power was not exempt
from the iron fist. Elections in 1946 to the post of Secretary General
of the CGT resulted in telephone workers' union leader Luis Gay's
victory over Perón's nominee, former retail workers' leader Ángel
Borlenghi—both central figures in Perón's famed 17 October
comeback. The president had Luis Gay expelled from the CGT three
months later, and replaced him with José Espejo, a little-known
rank-and-filer who was close to the first lady. This was done on
unsubstantiated charges that he had colluded with Perón's enemy, the
former U.S. Ambassador Spruille Braden.
Union leader Cipriano Reyes, jailed for years for turning against
The meat-packers' union leader, Cipriano Reyes, turned against Perón
when he replaced the Labor Party with the
Peronist Party in 1947.
Organizing a strike in protest, Reyes was arrested on the charge of
plotting against the lives of the president and first lady, though the
allegations were never substantiated. Tortured in prison, Reyes was
denied parole five years later, and freed only after the regime's 1955
downfall. Cipriano Reyes was one of hundreds of Perón's opponents
held at Buenos Aires' Ramos Mejía
General Hospital, one of whose
basements was converted into a police detention center where torture
The populist leader was intolerant of both left-wing and conservative
opposition. Though he used violence,
Perón preferred to deprive the
opposition of their access to media. Interior Minister Borlenghi
administered El Laborista, the leading official news daily. Carlos
Aloe, a personal friend of Evita's, oversaw an array of leisure
magazines published by Editorial Haynes, which the
bought a majority stake in. Through the Secretary of the Media, Raúl
Apold, socialist dailies such as La Vanguardia or Democracia, and
conservative ones such as La Prensa or La Razón, were simply closed
or expropriated in favor of the CGT or ALEA, the regime's new state
media company. Intimidation of the press increased: between 1943
and 1946, 110 publications were closed down; others such as La Nación
and Roberto Noble's Clarín became more cautious and
Perón appeared more threatened by dissident
artists than by opposition political figures (though UCR leader
Ricardo Balbín spent most of 1950 in jail). Numerous prominent
cultural and intellectual figures were imprisoned (publisher and
critic Victoria Ocampo, for one) or forced into exile, among them
comedian Niní Marshall, film maker Luis Saslavsky, pianist Osvaldo
Pugliese and actress Libertad Lamarque, victim of a rivalry with Eva
Perón and Fascism
Perón was sent to many countries of Europe to study them. At
his return, he would explain that he had a positive impression about
national syndicalism during the government of
Benito Mussolini in
Ioannis Metaxas in Greece and
Adolf Hitler in Germany. By that
year, he thought that those countries would become social democracies.
His exact words were as follows:
Italian Fascism led popular organizations to an effective
participation in national life, which had always been denied to the
people. Before Mussolini's rise to power, the nation was on one hand
and the worker on the other, and the latter had no involvement in the
former. [...] In Germany happened exactly the same phenomenon,
meaning, an organized state for a perfectly ordered community, for a
perfectly ordered population as well: a community where the state was
the tool of the nation, whose representation was, under my view,
effective. I thought that this should be the future political form,
meaning, the true people's democracy, the true social democracy.
— Juan Perón
After the end of World War II and the rise of
Perón to a popular
Peronist politicians and authors would point that Perón
once manifested support for Mussolini and Hitler, implying that such
support involved the whole of their governments or the paths actually
taken by Italy or Germany after 1938. One of the most famous examples
Spruille Braden did so during the 1946 election, leading to
the "Braden or Perón" slogan that was key of the
Felipe Pigna states that no researcher who has
Perón would consider him a fascist. Pigna identifies
Perón as a pragmatist who took useful elements from all modern
ideologies of the time, such as fascism, but also the "New Deal"
policies of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "national defense"
principles, social views from religion, and even some socialist
principles. According to historian Tulio Halperín Donghi, Perón
was driven by strong convictions but not by full support to any
mainstream ideology; although he did not try to hide his old
admiration of fascist Italy, it wasn't a strong influence on him.
Arturo Jauretche said that
Perón was neither fascist nor
anti-fascist, simply realist, and that the active intervention of the
working class in politics, as he saw in those countries, was a
Protection of Nazi war criminals
Further information: Ratlines (history)
After World War II,
Argentina became a haven for Nazi war criminals,
with explicit protection from Perón. Author
Uki Goñi alleges that
Axis Power collaborators, including Pierre Daye, met with
Casa Rosada (Pink House), the President's official residence. In
this meeting, a network would have[clarification needed] been created
with support by the
Argentine Immigration Service and the Foreign
Office.[speculation?] The Swiss Chief of Police Heinrich Rothmund
and the Croatian Roman Catholic priest
Krunoslav Draganović also
helped organize the ratline.
An investigation of 22,000 documents by the
DAIA in 1997 discovered
that the network was managed by
Rodolfo Freude who had an office in
Casa Rosada and was close to Eva Perón's brother, Juan Duarte.
According to Ronald Newton, Ludwig Freude, Rodolfo's father, was
probably the local representative of the Office Three secret service
headed by Joachim von Ribbentrop, with probably more influence than
the German ambassador Edmund von Thermann. He had met
Perón in the
1930s, and had contacts with Generals Juan Pistarini, Domingo
Martínez, and José Molina. Ludwig Freude's house became the
meetingplace for Nazis and
Argentine military officers supporting the
Axis. In 1943, he traveled with
Perón to Europe to attempt an arms
deal with Germany.
Nazi exile network principal
Rodolfo Freude (2nd from left) and
Perón (2nd from right), who appointed Freude Director of
Argentine Intelligence Secretariat
And after the war, Ludwig Freude was investigated over his connection
to possible looted Nazi art, cash and precious metals on deposit at
Argentine banks, Banco Germanico and Banco Tournquist. But on 6
September 1946, the Freude investigation was terminated by
Examples of Nazis and collaborators who relocated to
Emile Dewoitine, who arrived in May 1946 and worked on the Pulqui jet;
Erich Priebke, who arrived in 1947;
Josef Mengele in 1949; Adolf
Eichmann in 1950; former Commandant of Sobibor and Treblinka death
camps Franz Stangl; Austrian representative of Spitzy in Spain
Reinhard Spitzy; Charles Lescat, editor of
Je Suis Partout in Vichy
France; SS functionary Ludwig Lienhardt; German industrialist Ludwig
Freude; and SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie.
Many members of the notorious Croatian
Ustaše (including their
leader, Ante Pavelić) took refuge in Argentina, as did Milan
Stojadinović, the former collaborationist Prime Minister of
monarchist Yugoslavia. In 1946 Stojadinović went to Rio de
Janeiro, and then to Buenos Aires, where he was reunited with his
family. Stojadinović spent the rest of his life as presidential
advisor on economic and financial affairs to governments in Argentina
and founded the financial newspaper El Economista.
A Croatian priest, Krunoslav Draganović, organizer of the San
Girolamo ratline, was authorized by
Perón to assist Nazi operatives
to come to
Argentina and evade prosecution in Europe after World War
II, in particular the Ustaše.
Ante Pavelić became a security
advisor of Perón, before leaving for
Francoist Spain in 1957.
As in the United States (Operation Paperclip),
Argentina also welcomed
displaced German scientists such as
Kurt Tank and Ronald Richter. Some
of these refugees took important roles in Perón's Argentina, such as
French collaborationist Jacques de Mahieu, who became an ideologue of
Peronist movement, before becoming mentor to a Roman Catholic
nationalist youth group in the 1960s. Belgian collaborationist Pierre
Daye became editor of a
Peronist magazine. Rodolfo Freude, Ludwig's
son, became Perón's chief of presidential intelligence in his first
Milan Stojadinović founded El Economista (The Economist
magazine) in 1951, which still carries his name on its masthead.
Recently, Goñi's research, drawing on investigations in Argentine,
Swiss, American, British and Belgian government archives, as well as
numerous interviews and other sources, was detailed in The Real
ODESSA: Smuggling the Nazis to Perón's
Argentina (2002), showing how
escape routes known as ratlines were used by former NSDAP members and
like-minded people to escape trial and judgment. Goñi places
particular emphasis on the part played by Perón's government in
organizing the ratlines, as well as documenting the aid of Swiss and
Vatican authorities in their flight. The Argentine
Barcelona gave false passports to fleeing Nazi war
criminals and collaborationists. Recently declassified files from
Brazil and Chile reveal that during WWII Péron sold 10,000 blank
Argentine passports to ODESSA – the organisation set up to
protect former SS men in the event of defeat.
Tomás Eloy Martínez, writer and professor of Latin American studies
at Rutgers University, wrote that Juan
Perón allowed Nazis into the
country in hopes of acquiring advanced German technology developed
during the war. Martínez also noted that
Eva Perón played no part in
allowing Nazis into the country. However, one of Eva's bodyguards
was in fact an ex-Nazi commando named Otto Skorzeny, who had met Juan
Perón and the Jewish and German communities of Argentina
Further information: History of the Jews in
Argentina and German
When I realized that Perón, contrary to previous governments, gave
Jewish citizens access to public office, I began to change my way of
— Ezequiel Zabotinsky, president of the Jewish-Peronist
Organizacion Israelita Argentina, 1952–1955
Perón and José Ber Gelbard
Fraser and Navarro write that Juan
Perón was a complicated man who
over the years stood for many different, often contradictory,
things. In the book Inside
Perón to Menem author
Laurence Levine, former president of the US-
Argentine Chamber of
Commerce, writes, "although anti-Semitism existed in Argentina,
Perón's own views and his political associations were not
anti-Semitic...." Laurence also writes that one of Perón's advisors
was a Jewish man from Poland named José Ber Gelbard. U.S.
George S. Messersmith
George S. Messersmith visited
Argentina in 1947 during the
first term of Juan Perón. Messersmith noted, "There is not as much
social discrimination against Jews here as there is right in New York
or in most places at home..."
Golda Meir talks with Evita
Perón on Meir's visit to Argentina, 1951.
Perón sought out other Jewish Argentines as government advisers,
besides Ber Gelbard. The powerful Secretary of Media, Raúl Apold,
also Jewish, was called "Perón's Goebbels." He favoured the creation
of institutions such as New Zion (Nueva Sión), the Argentine-Jewish
Institute of Culture and Information, led by Simón Mirelman, and the
Argentine-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. Also, he named Rabbi Amran Blum
as the first Jewish professor of philosophy in the National University
of Buenos Aires. After
Argentina became the first Latin American
government to acknowledge the State of Israel,
Perón appointed Pablo
Mangel, a Jewish man, as ambassador to that country. Education and
Diplomacy were the two strongholds of Catholic nationalism, and both
appointments were highly symbolic. The same goes for the 1946 decision
of allowing Jewish army privates to celebrate their holidays, which
was intended to foster Jewish integration in another traditionally
Catholic institution, the army.
Argentina signed a generous commercial agreement with Israel that
granted favourable terms for Israeli acquisitions of Argentine
commodities, and the
Eva Perón Foundation sent significant
humanitarian aid. In 1951 during their visit to Buenos Aires, Chaim
Golda Meir expressed their gratitude for this aid.
Evita and Juan
Perón at the Plaza de Mayo, 1951.
Raúl Apold is
visible behind Perón.
German Argentine community in
Argentina is the fourth-largest
immigrant group in the country, after the ethnic Spanish and the
German Argentine community predates Juan Perón's
presidency, and began during the political unrest related to the
19th-century unification of Germany. Laurence Levine writes that
Perón found 20th-century German civilization too "rigid" and had a
"distaste" for it. Crassweller writes that while Juan Perón
Argentine culture, with which he felt a spiritual affinity,
he was "pragmatic" in dealing with the diverse populace of
While Juan Perón's
Argentina allowed many Nazi criminals to take
refuge in the country following World War II, the society also
accepted more Jewish immigrants than any other country in Latin
Argentina has a population of more than 200,000 Jewish
citizens, the largest in Latin America, the third-largest in the
Americas, and the sixth-largest in the world. The
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library writes that while Juan
Perón had sympathized
with the Axis powers, "
Perón also expressed sympathy for Jewish
rights and established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1949. Since
then, more than 45,000 Jews have immigrated to Israel from
Perón's second term
Perón and the ailing Evita during his second inaugural parade, June
1952. Eva died the following month.
Facing only token UCR and Socialist Party opposition and despite being
unable to field his popular wife, Eva, as a running mate,
re-elected in 1951 by a margin of over 30%. This election was the
first to have extended suffrage to
Argentine women and the first in
Argentina to be televised:
Perón was inaugurated on Channel 7 public
television that October. He began his second term in June 1952 with
serious economic problems, however, compounded by a severe drought
that helped lead to a US$500 million trade deficit (depleting
Perón called employers and unions to a Productivity Congress to
regulate social conflict through dialogue, but the conference failed
without reaching an agreement. Divisions among Peronists intensified,
and the President's worsening mistrust led to the forced resignation
of numerous valuable allies, notably
Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province Governor
Domingo Mercante. Again on the defensive,
generals' promotions and extended them pay hikes and other benefits.
He also accelerated landmark construction projects slated for the CGT
or government agencies; among these was the 41-story and 141 m
(463 ft) high
Alas Building (transferred to the Air Force by a
Perón grew bolder following the first lady's 26 July
1952, passing. On 15 April 1953, a terrorist group (never identified)
detonated two bombs in a public rally at Plaza de Mayo, killing 7 and
injuring 95. Amid the chaos,
Perón exhorted the crowd to take
reprisals; they made their way to their adversaries' gathering places,
the Socialist Party headquarters and the aristocratic Jockey Club
(both housed in magnificent turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts buildings),
and burned them to the ground.
Designed and manufactured in Argentina, the Justicialist was part of
Perón's effort to develop a local auto industry.
A stalemate of sorts ensued between
Perón and his opposition and,
despite austerity measures taken late in 1952 to remedy the country's
unsustainable trade deficit, the president remained generally popular.
In March 1954,
Perón called Vice-Presidential elections to replace
the late Hortensio Quijano, which his candidate won by a nearly
two-to-one margin. Given what he felt was as solid a mandate as ever
and with inflation in single digits and the economy on a more secure
Perón ventured into a new policy: the creation of incentives
designed to attract foreign investment.
Alas Building under construction
Drawn to an economy with the highest standard of living in Latin
America and a new steel mill in San Nicolás de los Arroyos,
Kaiser Motors responded to the initiave by
breaking ground on new facilities in the city of Córdoba, as did the
freight truck division of Daimler-Benz, the first such investments
Argentine assembly line opened in 1926. Perón
also signed an important exploration contract with Standard Oil of
California, in May 1955, consolidating his new policy of substituting
the two largest sources of that era's chronic trade deficits (imported
petroleum and motor vehicles) with local production brought in through
foreign investment. The centrist Radical Civic Union's 1951
Vice-Presidential nominee, Arturo Frondizi, publicly condemned what he
considered to be an anti-patriotic decision; as president three years
later, however, he himself signed exploration contracts with foreign
As 1954 drew to a close,
Perón unveiled reforms far more
controversial to the normally conservative
Argentine public, the
legalization of divorce and of prostitution. The Roman Catholic
Argentine leaders, whose support of Perón's government had
been steadily waning since the advent of the
Eva Perón Foundation,
were now open antagonists of the man they called "the tyrant." Though
much of Argentina's media had, since 1950, been either controlled or
monitored by the administration, lurid pieces on his ongoing
relationship with an underage girl named Nélida "Nelly" Rivas,
Perón never denied, filled the gossip pages. Pressed by
reporters on whether his supposed new paramour was, as the magazines
claimed, thirteen years of age, the fifty-nine-year-old Perón
responded that he was "not superstitious."
Before long, however, the president's humor on the subject ran out
and, following the expulsion of two Catholic priests he believed to be
behind his recent image problems, a 15 June 1955 declaration of the
Sacred Consistorial Congregation (not of
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII himself,
who alone had authority to excommunicate a head of state) was
interpreted as declaring
Perón excommunicated. The following day,
Péron called for a rally of support on the Plaza de Mayo, a
time-honored custom among
Argentine presidents during a challenge.
However, as he spoke before a crowd of thousands, Navy fighter jets
flew overhead and dropped bombs into the crowded square below before
seeking refuge in Uruguay.
Scene in the
Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo following a failed coup attempt against
Perón, 16 June 1955. He was deposed three months later.
The incident, part of a coup attempt against Perón, killed 364 people
and was, from a historical perspective, the only air assault ever on
Argentine soil, as well as a portent of the mayhem that Argentine
society would suffer in the 1970s. It moreover touched off a wave
of reprisals on the part of Peronists. Reminiscent of the incidents in
Peronist crowds ransacked eleven
Buenos Aires churches,
including the Metropolitan Cathedral. On 16 September 1955, a
nationalist Catholic group from both the Army and Navy, led by General
General Pedro E. Aramburu, and Admiral Isaac Rojas,
led a revolt from Córdoba. Taking power in a coup three days later,
which they named
Revolución Libertadora (the "Liberating
Perón barely escaped with his life, leaving Nelly Rivas
behind, and fleeing on the gunboat ARP Paraguay provided by
Paraguayan leader Alfredo Stroessner, up the Paraná River.
At that point
Argentina was more politically polarized than it had
been since 1880. The landowning elites and other conservatives pointed
to an exchange rate that had rocketed from 4 to 30 pesos per dollar
and consumer prices that had risen nearly fivefold. Employers
and moderates generally agreed, qualifying that with the fact the
economy had grown by over 40% (the best showing since the 1920s).
The underprivileged and humanitarians looked back upon the era as one
in which real wages grew by over a third and better working conditions
arrived alongside benefits like pensions, health care, paid vacations
and the construction of record numbers of needed schools, hospitals,
works of infrastructure and housing.
The new leader,
General Eduardo Lonardi, waves in a 1955 newsmagazine
cover. His gradualist approach to "de-Perónization" led to his prompt
First meeting of the Junta's Civilian Advisory Board, 1955. Despite
great pressure to the contrary, the board recommended that most of
Perón's social reforms be kept in place.
The new military regime went to great lengths to destroy both the
President's and Eva Perón's reputation, putting up public exhibits of
what they maintained was the Peróns' scandalously sumptuous taste for
antiques, jewelry, roadsters, yachts and other luxuries. They also
Peronist leaders of corruption; but, ultimately, though
many were prosecuted, none were convicted. The
junta's first leader, Eduardo Lonardi, appointed a Civilian Advisory
Board. However, its preference for a gradual approach to
de-Perónization helped lead to Lonardi's ousting, though most of the
board's recommendations stood the new president's scrutiny.
Lonardi's replacement, Lieutenant-
General Pedro Aramburu, outlawed the
mere mention of Juan or Eva Perón's names under Decree Law 4161/56.
Peronism and the very display of Peronist
mementos was banned. Partly in response to these and other excesses,
Peronists and moderates in the army organized a counter-coup against
Aramburu, in June 1956. Possessing an efficient intelligence network,
however, Aramburu foiled the plan, having the plot's leader, General
Juan José Valle, and 26 others executed. Aramburu turned to similarly
drastic means in trying to rid the country of the spectre of the
Peróns, themselves. Eva Perón's cadaver was removed from its display
at CGT headquarters and ordered hidden under another name in a modest
grave in Milan, Italy.
Perón himself, for the time residing in
Caracas, Venezuela at the kindness of ill-fated President Marcos
Pérez Jiménez, suffered a number of attempted kidnappings and
assassinations ordered by Aramburu.
Continuing to exert considerable direct influence over Argentine
politics despite the ongoing ban of
Peronism or the Justicialist Party
Argentina geared for the 1958 elections,
Perón instructed his
supporters to cast their ballots for the moderate Arturo Frondizi, a
splinter candidate within the Peronists' largest opposition party, the
Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union (UCR). Frondizi went on to defeat the better-known
(but, more anti-Peronist) UCR leader, Ricardo Balbín.
Perón backed a
"Popular Union" (UP) in 1962, and when its candidate for governor of
Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province (Andrés Framini) was elected, Frondizi was
forced to resign by the military. Unable to secure a new alliance,
Perón advised his followers to cast blank ballots in the 1963
elections, demonstrating direct control over one fifth of the
Perón's stay in Venezuela had been cut short by the 1958 ousting of
General Pérez Jiménez. In Panama, he met the nightclub singer María
Estela Martínez (known as "Isabel"). Eventually settling in Madrid,
Spain under the protection of Francisco Franco, he married Isabel in
1961 and was admitted back into the Catholic Church in 1963. Following
a failed December 1964 attempt to return to Buenos Aires, he sent his
Argentina in 1965, to meet political dissidents and advance
Perón's policy of confrontation and electoral boycotts. She organized
a meeting in the house of Bernardo Alberte, Perón's delegate and
sponsor of various left-wing
Peronist movements such as the CGT de los
Argentinos (CGTA), an offshoot of the umbrella CGT union. During
Isabel's visit, adviser
Raúl Lastiri introduced her to his
father-in-law, José López Rega. A policeman with an interest in the
occult, he won Isabel's trust through their common dislike of Jorge
Antonio, a prominent
Argentine industrialist and the Peronist
movement's main financial backer during their perilous 1960s.
Accompanying her to Spain, López Rega worked for Perón's security
before becoming the couple's personal secretary. A return of the
Popular Union (UP) in 1965 and their victories in congressional
elections that year helped lead to the overthrow of the moderate
President Arturo Illia, and to the return of dictatorship.
Perón became increasingly unable to control the CGT, itself. Though
he had the support of its Secretary General, José Alonso, others in
the union favored distancing the CGT from the exiled leader. Chief
among them was Steel and Metalworkers Union head Augusto Vandor.
Perón from 1965 to 1968 by defying Perón's call
for an electoral boycott (leading the UP to victories in the 1965
elections), and with mottos such as "
Peronism without Perón" and "to
save Perón, one has to be against Perón." Dictator Juan Carlos
Onganía's continued repression of labor demands, however, helped lead
to Vandor's rapproachment with Perón—a development cut short by
Vandor's as-yet unsolved 1969 murder. Labor agitation increased; the
CGTA, in particular, organized opposition to the dictatorship between
1968 and 1972, and it would have an important role in the May–June
Student unrest in Rosario, 1969 (the Rosariazo). Unable to return on
Perón began rallying besieged leftist students (the
very people he had repressed in office).
UCR leader Ricardo Balbín, Conservative Horacio Thedy and Perón's
delegate, Daniel Paladino (middle three) find rare common cause after
General Levingston's 1970 power grab. Their joint Hour of the People
statement helped lead to elections in 1973 (and to Perón's return).
Perón began courting the far left during Onganía's dictatorship. In
his book La Hora de los Pueblos (1968),
Perón enunciated the main
principles of his purported new
Tricontinental political vision:
Mao is at the head of Asia, Nasser of Africa, De Gaulle of the old
Europe and Castro of Latin America.
— Juan Perón, La Hora de los Pueblos
He supported the more militant unions and maintained close links with
the Montoneros, a far-left Catholic
Peronist group. On 1 June 1970,
Montoneros kidnapped and assassinated former anti-Peronist
Pedro Aramburu in retaliation for the June 1956 mass
execution of a
Peronist uprising against the junta. In 1971, he sent
two letters to the film director Octavio Getino, one congratulating
him for his work with
Fernando Solanas and Gerardo Vallejo, in the
Grupo Cine Liberación, and another concerning two film documentaries,
La Revolución Justicialista and Actualización política y
He also cultivated ties with conservatives and the far right. He
supported the leader of the conservative wing of the UCR, his
erstwhile prisoner Ricardo Balbín, against competition from within
the UCR itself. Members of the right-wing Tacuara Nationalist
Movement, considered the first
Argentine guerrilla group, also turned
towards him. Founded in the early 1960s, the Tacuaras were a fascist,
anti-Semitic and anti-conformist group founded on the model of Primo
de Rivera's Falange, and at first strongly opposed Peronism. However,
they split after the 1959
Cuban Revolution into three groups: the one
most opposed to the
Peronist alliance, led by Catholic priest Julio
Meinvielle, retained the original hard-line stance; the New Argentina
Movement (MNA), headed by Dardo Cabo, was founded on 9 June 1961, to
Peronist uprising on the same date in
1956, and became the precursor to all modern Catholic nationalist
groups in Argentina; and the Revolutionary Nationalist Tacuara
Movement (MNRT), formed by Joe Baxter and José Luis Nell, who joined
Peronism believing in its capacity for revolution, and without
forsaking nationalism, broke from the Church and abandoned
anti-Semitism. Baxter's MNRT became progressively Marxist, and many of
Montoneros and of the ERP's leaders came from this group.
Following Onganía's replacement in June 1970,
General Roberto M.
Levingston proposed the replacement of Argentina's myriad political
parties with "four or five" (vetted by the Revolución Argentina
regime). This attempt to govern indefinitely against the will of the
different political parties united Peronists and their opposition in a
joint declaration of 11 November 1970, billed as la Hora del Pueblo
(The Hour of the People), which called for free and immediate
democratic elections to put an end to the political crisis. The
declaration was signed by the
Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union (UCRP), the
Justicialist Party (
Peronist Party), the
Argentine Socialist Party
(PSA), the Democratic Progressive Party (PCP) and the Partido
The opposition's call for elections led to Levingston's replacement by
General Alejandro Lanusse, in March 1971. Faced with strong opposition
and social conflicts,
General Lanusse declared his intention to
restore constitutional democracy by 1973, though without Peronist
participation. Lanusse proposed the Gran Acuerdo Nacional (Great
National Agreement) in July 1971, which was to find an honorable exit
for the military junta without allowing
Peronism to participate in the
election. The proposal was rejected by Perón, who formed the
FRECILINA alliance (Frente Cívico de Liberación Nacional, Civic
Front of National Liberation), headed by his new delegate Héctor
José Cámpora (a member of the
Peronist Left). The alliance gathered
Justicialist Party and the Integration and Development Movement
(MID), headed by Arturo Frondizi. FRECILINA pressed for free and
unrestricted elections, which ultimately took place in March 1973.
Che Guevara and Perón
Che Guevara and
Perón were sympathetic to each other. Pacho O'Donnell
Che Guevara as Cuban minister attempted to arrange for the
Argentina in the 1960s and sent financial support
for that end.
Perón however disapproved of Guevara's advocacy of
guerrilla warfare as antiquated. In Madrid,
Perón and Guevara met
twice. These meetings, as the meetings
Perón held with other
Madrid (such as Salvador Allende), were arranged with
great secrecy to avoid complaints or expulsion from Francoist
Spain. According to
Enrique Pavón Pereyra who was present at the
second meeting between Guevara and
Perón in Madrid,
Perón would have
discouraged and warned Guevara of his guerrilla plans in Bolivia.
...you will not survive in Bolivia. Suspend that plan. Search for
alternatives. [...] Do not suicide.
Perón to Che Guevara
Enrique Pavón Pereyra was only present in the first part of the
meeting then he served mate so that
Perón and Guevara could drink
together and left the meeting room to provide them with privacy.
Pavón Pereyra speculate about the conversation that followed in his
Perón would have then explained to Guevara that he could not
compromise support for his planned operations, but that "when" Guevara
"moved activities" to
Argentina he would provide
After the encounter
Perón commented a friend in a letter about the
visit of Guevara:
...an immature utopian –but one of us– I am happy for it to be so
because he is giving the yankees a real headache.
Perón on Che Guevara
Perón's third term (1973–1974)
Perón hosts the head of the opposition UCR, Ricardo Balbín, at his
home in preparations for the 1973 campaign.
General elections were held on 11 March 1973.
Perón was banned from
running, but a stand-in, Dr. Héctor Cámpora, a left-wing Peronist
and his personal representative, won the election and took office on
25 May. On 20 June 1973,
Perón returned from Spain to end his 18-year
exile. According to
Página 12 newspaper, Licio Gelli, headmaster of
Propaganda Due, had provided an
Alitalia plane to return
Perón to his
native country. Gelli was part of a committee supporting Perón,
Carlos Saúl Menem
Carlos Saúl Menem (future President of Argentina,
1989–1999). The former Italian Premier
Giulio Andreotti recalled
an encounter between Perón, his wife Isabel Martínez and Gelli,
Perón knelt before
Licio Gelli to salute him.
On the day of Perón's return, a crowd of left-wing Peronists
(estimated at 3.5 million) gathered at the
Ezeiza Airport in
Buenos Aires to welcome him.
Perón was accompanied by Cámpora, whose
first measures were to grant amnesty to all political prisoners and
re-establish relations with Cuba, helping
Fidel Castro break the
United States embargo against Cuba. This, along with his social
policies, had earned him the opposition of right-wing Peronists,
including the trade-unionist bureaucracy.
Perón's stand-in, Héctor Cámpora, votes in the 1973 elections.
Perón nominated Cámpora to placate the Left, but their support for
Perón waned after the leader made them guilty by association for the
growing wave of violence.
Camouflaged snipers opened fire on the crowd at the airport. The
Peronist Youth Organization and the
Montoneros had been
trapped. At least 13 people were killed and 365 injured in this
episode, which became known as the Ezeiza massacre.
Cámpora and Vice President
Vicente Solano Lima
Vicente Solano Lima resigned in July 1973,
paving the way for new elections, this time with Perón's
participation as the
Justicialist Party nominee.
mounting political instability, and
Perón was viewed by many as the
country's only hope for prosperity and safety. UCR leader Ricardo
Perón contemplated a Peronist-Radical joint government,
but opposition in both parties made this impossible. Besides
opposition among Peronists,
Ricardo Balbín had to consider opposition
within the UCR itself, led by Raúl Alfonsín, a leader among the
Perón received 62% of the vote, returning him to
the presidency. He began his third term on 12 October 1973, with
Isabel, his wife, as Vice President.
Upon Cámpora's inaugural,
Perón had him appoint a trusted policy
adviser to the critical Economy Ministry, José Ber Gelbard.
Inheriting an economy that had doubled in output since 1955 with
little indebtedness and only modest new foreign investment, inflation
had become a fixture in daily life and was worsening: consumer prices
rose by 80% in the year to May 1973 (triple the long-term average, up
to then). Making this a policy priority, Ber Gelbard crafted a "social
pact" in hopes of finding a happy median between the needs of
management and labor. Providing a framework for negotiating price
controls, guidelines for collective bargaining and a package of
subsidies and credits, the pact was promptly signed by the CGT (then
the largest labor union in South America) and management (represented
by Julio Broner and the CGE). The measure was largely successful,
initially: inflation slowed to 12% and real wages rose by over 20%
during the first year. GDP growth accelerated from 3% in 1972 to over
6% in 1974. The plan also envisaged the paydown of Argentina's growing
public external debt, then around US$8 billion, within four
José López Rega, Perón's personal secretary, proved a detrimental
influence over the aging leader, leveraging this for corruption and
The improving economic situation encouraged
Perón to pursue
interventionist social and economic policies similar to those he
carried out in the Forties: nationalizing banks and various
industries, subsidizing native businesses and consumers, regulating
and taxing the agricultural sector, reviving the IAPI, placing
restrictions on foreign investment, and funding a number of social
welfare programs. In addition, new rights for workers were
The 1973 oil shock, however, forced Ber Gelbard to rethink the Central
Bank's projected reserves and, accordingly, undid planned reductions
in stubborn budget deficits, then around US$2 billion a year (4%
of GDP). Increasingly frequent collective bargaining agreements in
excess of Social Pact wage guidelines and a resurgence in inflation
led to growing strain on the viability of the plan by mid-1974,
Perón's third term was also marked by an escalating conflict between
Peronist left- and right-wing factions. This turmoil was fueled
primarily by calls for repression against the left on the part of
leading CGT figures, a growing segment of the armed forces
(particularly the navy) and right-wing radicals within his own party,
notably Perón's most fascist adviser, José López Rega. López Rega,
appointed Minister of Social Welfare, was in practice given power far
beyond his purview, soon controlling up to 30 percent of the federal
budget. Diverting increasing funds, he formed the Triple A, a
death squad that soon began targeting not only the violent left; but
moderate opposition, as well. The
Montoneros became marginalized
Peronist movement and were mocked by
Perón himself after the
Ezeiza massacre. In his speech to the governors on 2 August 1973,
Perón openly criticized radical
Argentine youth for a lack of
Perón greets supporters during a 12 June 1974 rally, his last.
Perón's funeral cortège along the Avenida de Mayo.
The rift between
Perón and the far left became irreconcilable
following 25 September 1973, murder of José Ignacio Rucci, the
moderately conservative Secretary
General of CGT. Rucci was killed
in a commando ambush in front of his residence. His murder was long
attributed to the
Montoneros (whose record of violence was
well-established by then), but it is arguably Argentina's most
prominent unsolved mystery.
Perón enlisted López Rega to target left-wing opponents.
Shortly after Perón's attack on left-wing Peronism, the Montoneros
Another guerrilla group, the Guevarist ERP, also opposed the Peronist
right-wing. They started engaging in armed struggle, assaulting an
important Army barracks in Azul,
Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province on 19 January,
and creating a foco (insurrection) in Tucumán, a historically
underdeveloped province in Argentina's largely rural northwest. In
May 1973 the ERP claimed to have extorted $1 million in goods from the
Ford Motor Company, after murdering one executive and wounding
another. Five months after the payment, the guerrillas killed
another Ford executive and his three bodyguards. Only after Ford
threatened to close down their operation in
Argentina altogether, did
Perón agree to have his army protect the plant.
Perón's failing health complicated matters. He suffered from an
enlarged prostate and heart disease, and by at least one account, he
may have been senile by the time he was sworn in for his third term.
His wife frequently had to take over as Acting President over the
course of the next year.
Perón maintained a full schedule of policy meetings with both
government officials and chief base of support, the CGT. He also
presided over the inaugural of the
Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant
Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant (Latin
America's first) in April; the reactor, begun while he was in exile,
was the fruition of work started in the 1950s by the National Atomic
Energy Commission, his landmark bureau. His diminishing support from
the far left (which believed
Perón had come under the control of the
right-wing entorno (entourage) led by López Rega, UOM head Lorenzo
Miguel, and Perón's own wife) turned to open enmity following rallies
Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo on 1 May and 12 June in which the president
condemned their demands and increasingly violent activities.
Perón was reunited with another friend from the 1950s –
Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner – on 16 June to sign the
bilateral treaty that broke ground on
Yacyretá Hydroelectric Dam (the
Perón returned to
Buenos Aires with clear
signs of pneumonia and, on 28 June, he suffered a series of heart
attacks. The vice-president, on a trade mission in Europe, returned
urgently, secretly sworn in on an interim basis on 29 June. Following
a promising day the official presidential residence of Quinta de
Olivos in the
Buenos Aires suburb of Olivos, Juan
Perón suffered a
final attack on Monday, 1 July 1974 and died at 13:15. He was 78 years
Perón's corpse was first transported by hearse to Buenos Aires
Metropolitan Cathedral for a funeral mass the next day. Afterwards the
body, dressed in full military uniform, was taken to the Palace of the
National Congress, where it lay in state over the next 46 hours,
during which more than 130,000 people filed past the coffin. Finally,
at 09:30 on a rainy Thursday, 4 July the funeral procession commenced.
Argentine flag-covered casket was placed on a limber towed by
a small army truck (escorted by cavalry and a large motorcade of
motorcycles and a few armored vehicles) through the capital's streets
back to Olivos. At least one million people turned out for
Perón's funeral, some of whom threw flowers at the casket and
chanted, "¡Perón! ¡Perón! ¡Perón!" as it passed by. Along the
10-mile route from the Palace to Olivos, hundreds of armed soldiers
lining it were assigned to restrain the crowd. As many as 2,000
foreign journalists covered the ceremony. The funeral cortege reached
its final destination two and a half hours later. There, the coffin
was greeted by a 21-gun salute. Many international heads of state
offered condolences to
Argentina following the demise of President
Perón. Three days of official mourning were declared
Perón had recommended that his wife, Isabel, rely on
Balbín for support, and at the president's burial Balbín uttered an
historic phrase: "The old adversary bids farewell to a friend."
Perón succeeded her husband to the presidency, but proved
incapable of managing the country's political and economic problems,
including the left-wing insurgency and the reactions of the extreme
right. Ignoring her late husband's advice, Isabel gave Balbín no
role in her new government, instead granting broad powers to López
Rega, who started a "dirty war" against political opponents.
Isabel Perón's term ended abruptly on 24 March 1976, during a
military coup d'état. A military junta, headed by
Videla, took control of the country, establishing the self-styled
National Reorganization Process. The junta ramped up the "dirty war",
combining widespread persecution of political dissidents with state
terrorism. The death toll rose to thousands (at least 9,000, with
human rights organizations claiming it was closer to 30,000). Many of
these were "the disappeared" (desaparecidos), people kidnapped and
executed without trial or record.
Relationship with Allende and Pinochet
Salvador Allende, as member of parliament, had actively rejected
Perón's attempts of establishing cooperation between Chile and
Argentina during the 1940s and 1950s. Allende received the
election of Héctor Cámpora, who had previously lived in exile in
Chile, as good news. Allende sent in Aniceto Rodríguez to Buenos
Aires to work on an alliance between the
Socialist Party of Chile
Socialist Party of Chile and
the Justicialism. Later Allende assisted to the presidential
inauguration of Campora. All of this was seen with good eyes by Perón
who came to refer to Allende as "compañero". However
Perón also used
Allende as a warning example for the most radical of his followers. In
September just a few days before the
1973 Chilean coup d'etat
1973 Chilean coup d'etat he
addressed Tendencia Revolucionaria:
If you want to do as Allende, then look how it goes for Allende. One
has to be calm.
— Juan Perón
Perón condemned the coup as a "fatality for the continent" stating
that the coup leader
Augusto Pinochet represented interests "well
known" to him. He praised Allende for his "valiant attitude" of
committing suicide. He took note of the role of the United States in
instigating the coup by recalling his familiarity with coup-making
On 14 May 1974
Augusto Pinochet at the Morón Airbase.
Pinochet was heading to meet
Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay so the
Argentina was technically a stop over. Pinochet and
Perón are both reported to have felt uncomfortable during the
Perón expressed his wishes to settle the
Beagle conflict and
Pinochet his concerns about Chilean exiles in
Argentina near the
frontier with Chile.
Perón would have conceded on moving these exiles
from the frontiers to eastern Argentina, but he warned "
his time, but accomplishes" (
Perón tarda, pero cumple). Perón
justified his meeting with Pinochet stating that it was important to
keep good relations with Chile under all circumstances and with
whoever might be in government.
Mausoleum and legacy
See also: Hands of Perón
Perón Street in midtown Buenos Aires, one of numerous streets and
avenues named in his honor when democracy returned to
Perón was buried in
La Chacarita Cemetery
La Chacarita Cemetery in Buenos Aires. On 10 June
1987, his tomb was desecrated, and his hands and some personal
effects, including his sword, were stolen. Perón's hands were cut
off with a chainsaw. A ransom letter asking for US$8 million was
sent to some
Peronist members of Congress. This profanation was a
ritualistic act to condemn Perón's spirit to eternal unrest,
according to journalists David Cox and
Damian Nabot in their book
Second Death, who connected it to
Licio Gelli and military officers
involved during Argentina's Dirty War. The bizarre incident
On 17 October 2006, his body was moved to a mausoleum at his former
summer residence, rebuilt as a museum, in the
Buenos Aires suburb of
San Vicente. A few people were injured in incidents as
unions fought over access to the ceremony, although police were able
to contain the violence enough for the procession to complete its
route to the mausoleum. The relocation of Perón's body offered his
self-proclaimed illegitimate daughter, Martha Holgado, the opportunity
to obtain a DNA sample from his corpse. She had attempted to have this
DNA analysis performed for 15 years, and the test in November 2006
ultimately proved she was not his daughter. Holgado died of
liver cancer on 7 June 2007. Before her death, she vowed to continue
the legal battle to prove she was Peron's biological child.
Peronist movement, to the present day a struggle of
ideologically diverse and competing interests, remains the central
political development of
Argentina since 1945.
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Page, Joseph. Perón: a biography (Random House 1983)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Perón y el peronismo: un ensayo bibliográfico by Mariano Ben
Plotkin. (in Spanish)
Webpage of author
Uki Goñi with extensive documentation on Perón's
involvement in harboring Nazi fugitives
Biography of Juan Peron a brief biography on About.com
Casahistoria pages on
Perón Les Fearns site, also links to Eva Perón
The Twenty Truths of the
Peronist Movement (1940s): The Justicialist
movement's core tenets at the
Wayback Machine (archived 10 April 2004)
Argentine Presidential Messages Well indexed
dating from 1946 onwards. The actual documents are shown as
photocopied images. Note: Downloading can be slow. University of
Secretary of Labour and Social Security
Pedro Pablo Ramírez
Minister of War
Vice President of Argentina
President of Argentina
First and Second Terms
President of Argentina
Isabel Martínez de Perón
Juan Domingo Perón
Five-Year Plans of Argentina
Railway nationalization in Argentina
Argentine Constitution of 1949
Grupo Cine Liberación
Montoneros from Plaza de Mayo
Juan Manuel Abal Medina
Juan Atilio Bramuglia
José López Rega
José Ignacio Rucci
Bombing of Plaza de Mayo
Isabel Martínez de Perón
Hands of Perón
La vida por Perón
Perón: Apuntes para una biografía
Puerta de Hierro, el exilio de Perón
Heads of state of Argentina
May Revolution and Independence War Period
Asamblea del Año XIII
Asamblea del Año XIII (1810–1814)
Supreme Directors of the United Provinces
of the Río de la Plata (1814–1820)
Gervasio Antonio de Posadas
Carlos María de Alvear
Juan José Viamonte
Ignacio Álvarez Thomas
Antonio González de Balcarce
Juan Martín de Pueyrredón
Juan Pedro Aguirre
Unitarian Republic – First Presidential Government (1826–1827)
Vicente López y Planes
Pacto Federal and
Argentine Confederation (1827–1862)
Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Ramón Balcarce
Juan José Viamonte
Manuel Vicente Maza
Juan Manuel de Rosas
Justo José de Urquiza
Juan Esteban Pedernera
National Organization –
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Julio Argentino Roca
Miguel Juárez Celman
Luis Sáenz Peña
José Evaristo Uriburu
Julio Argentino Roca
José Figueroa Alcorta
Roque Sáenz Peña
Victorino de la Plaza
Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union terms, after secret ballot (1916–1930)
Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear
Infamous Decade (1930–1943)
José Félix Uriburu
Agustín Pedro Justo
Roberto María Ortiz
Revolution of '43 military dictatorships (1943–1946)
Pedro Pablo Ramírez
Edelmiro Julián Farrell
Peronist terms (1946–1955)
Juan Domingo Perón
Revolución Libertadora military dictatorships (1955–1958)
Pedro Eugenio Aramburu
Fragile civilian governments – Proscription of Peronism
José María Guido
Arturo Umberto Illia
Argentina military dictatorships (1966–1973)
Juan Carlos Onganía
Roberto M. Levingston
Alejandro Agustín Lanusse
Héctor José Cámpora
Raúl Alberto Lastiri
Juan Domingo Perón
Isabel Martínez de Perón
National Reorganization Process
National Reorganization Process military dictatorships (1976–1983)
Jorge Rafael Videla
Roberto Eduardo Viola
Return to democracy (1983–present)
Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín
Carlos Saúl Menem
Fernando de la Rúa
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Politics of Argentina
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List of heads of state of Argentina
Juan Domingo Perón
Eva Perón Foundation
Ciudad Evita (Evita City)
Peronista Feminist Party
General Confederation of Labour
European Rainbow Tour
Spiritual Leader of the Nation
First presidential term
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La Razón de mi Vida (1951)
Mi Mensaje (1952)
The Woman with the Whip
The Woman with the Whip (1952 biography)
Evita (1978 musical)
Evita (1996 film)
Eva Perón: The True Story (1996 film)
Evita (2008 documentary)
Eva Doesn't Sleep (2015 film)
Copa Eva Duarte
Post-war flight of Axis fugitives
German / Austrian
Ludolf von Alvensleben
Johann von Leers
Tscherim Soobzokov (Circassian)
Colonia Dignidad (Chile)
Operation Paperclip (USA)
Robert Leiber (Holy See)
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld
Disputed / dubious
List of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals
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