Araujo, Arturo (1878–1967)

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Araujo, Arturo (1878–1967)

Arturo Araujo (b. 1878; d. 1 December 1967), president of El Salvador (1 March-2 December 1931). Arturo Araujo's presidential campaign and brief presidency revealed fundamental changes that had occurred in Salvadoran politics by 1930. Himself a member of the landowning oligarchy, Araujo was educated as an engineer in England and returned to El Salvador with pro-union sentiments and admiration for the British Labour Party. In June 1918, Araujo was the keynote speaker at the First Workers' Congress, held in the western town of Armenia, where he received the title of Benefactor of the Working Classes in General for his efforts on their behalf. The next year, Araujo made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency, then attempted to come to power through an invasion from Honduras in 1922. When Pío Romero Bosque declined to name his successor in the elections of 1930, Araujo and the Partido Laborista won with a platform based on Alberto Masferrer's nine-point mínimum vital program. He guaranteed adequate food, clothing, housing, education, and work for all Salvadorans and held out the promise of agrarian reform to the dispossessed rural population. However, government corruption and the Great Depression prevented the fulfillment of these campaign planks, and Araujo was overthrown in a coup engineered by his vice-president, General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez. Araujo's failed experiment with labor-based appeal resulted in fifty years of direct military rule in El Salvador and the elite's deep distrust of popular politics.

See alsoEl Salvador .


Julio Contreras Castro, De cómo fue traicionado el presidente ingeniero Arturo Araujo por Maximiliano Hernández Martínez (1944).

Thomas P. Anderson, Matanza: El Salvador's Communist Revolt of 1932 (1971).

Rafael Guidos Véjar, El ascenso del militarismo en El Salvador (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Walter, Knut, and Phillip J. Williams. Militarization and Demilitarization in El Salvador's Transition to Democracy. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997.

                                                   Karen Racine