Photographic book

Argentina in the 50s and 60s


Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges

After less than two months the Lonardi government fell in a coup led by Major General Pedro Eugenio Aramburu. Aramburu restored the constitution of 1853 and persecuted the Peronistas, particularly those in the labor unions. The government banned the Peronist Party from participating in the 1958 elections, and Arturo Frondizi of the Radical Party won the presidency with Peronist and Communist support. By 1960 Frondizi had achieved a degree of economic stability. However, he found it difficult to curb labor unrest and inflation, and his popularity declined throughout 1961. In the 1962 election, Frondizi allowed the Peronist Party to participate, and it polled about 35 percent of the vote. The prospect of the Peronistas returning to power triggered the military to overthrow Frondizi.

Argentina returned to civilian rule the next year after Arturo Illía, a moderate, became president. He promoted a program of national recovery and regulation of foreign investment. However, he was unable to control inflation.

In 1966 another military coup occurred, and the military set up a government under General Juan Carlos Onganía, who sought radical change. Onganía pledged to rescue the economy, reform the social structure, and then restore “true” democracy purged of Communist and Peronist influences. His government dissolved the National Congress and disbanded all political parties. Onganía’s program enjoyed great success but suddenly collapsed in mid-1969 when workers and students in the city of Córdoba held massive demonstrations.

The country shook as waves of popular unrest hit many of its leading cities. Guerrilla groups made up of leftists and Peronistas carried out audacious assassinations and kidnappings. Eventually, the military named General Alejandro Agustín Lanusse president; he took office in early 1971. The Lanusse government pledged a return to civilian rule and promised to hold elections. Violence continued in the form of strikes, popular riots, and terrorist activities, and the economy suffered renewed crisis. In an effort to stem the opposition, Lanusse allowed the Peronistas to participate in the election. In the 1973 election Hector J. Cámpora of the Peronist Party was elected president with almost 50 percent of the vote. "Argentina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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