Cantilo, José Luis (1871–1944)

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Cantilo, José Luis (1871–1944)

José Luis Cantilo (b. 6 February 1871; d. 11 October 1944), Argentine politician and journalist. First elected a provincial deputy for Buenos Aires in 1896, Cantilo rose through the ranks of the Unión Cívica Radical, participating in the Radicals' last armed protest in 1905. Cantilo was a close associate of Hipólito Irigoyen and joined the national Congress in the wake of the reform of the suffrage law in 1912. President Irigoyen named him intervenor in the province of Buenos Aires in 1917, in an effort to defuse the opposition of conservatives. Soon afterward, Cantilo returned to the capital as intendant (1917–1922); there he dealt with the social upheaval of 1917 to 1921. He did not stand out as either a great conciliator or an effective administrator, but he was a loyal follower of the Radical faction led by Irigoyen. From 1922 to 1926, Cantilo served as governor of the province of Buenos Aires, where he was charged repeatedly by Conservatives and dissident Radicals with undiluted partisanship but nevertheless succeeded in displacing the Conservatives and consolidating a Radical hold. He was again intendant of the capital from 1926 to 1930. Had Irigoyen not stood for reelection in 1928, Cantilo would have been the logical Radical candidate. With the coup d'état in September 1930, Cantilo was forced to leave politics. A decade later, with signs that the country would return to unobstructed democratic rule, he was elected to Congress in 1940. He served very briefly as a foreign minister until March 1941, when he was replaced by a Conservative His-panophile. From 1941 until his resignation in June 1943, he was president of the Cámara (lower House of Representatives). As the country polarized between archconservatives and rising trade unions, and faced military rumblings, the political room for a liberal like Cantilo quickly contracted.

See alsoArgentina, Political Parties: Radical Party (UCR) .


Richard J. Walter, The Province of Buenos Aires and Argentine Politics, 1912–1943 (1985), esp. pp. 44-74, and Politics and Urban Growth in Buenos Aires: 1910–1942 (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Blasi, Hebe Judith. José Luis Cantilo: Interventor y gobernador. La Plata: Asociación Amigos del Archivo Histórico de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, 2005.

Cabral, César Augusto. Alem: Informe sobre la frustración argentina. Buenos Aires: A. Peña Lillo, 1967.

Chiarenza, Daniel Alberto. Historia general de la Provincia de Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Pre-Escolar, 1997.

                                            Jeremy Adelman