Farrell, Edelmiro (1887–1980)

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Farrell, Edelmiro (1887–1980)

Edelmiro Farrell was an important figure in the emergence of Peronism in Argentina. Descended from Irish ancestors, Farrell had a notable military career, becoming a general in 1941. As a founder of Grupo de Oficiales Unidos (GOU), a military group that supported Argentina's neutrality in World War II, he participated in the military coup that overthrew the unpopular president Ramón Castillo on June 4, 1943.

After the 48-hour term of General Arturo Rawson (1885–1952) in June 1943, General Pedro Pablo Ramírez became president and appointed Farrell minister of war. On October 15, 1943, the military chose Farrell as Ramírez's vice president. Farrell had a protégé: his secretary, Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, who jumped to the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, a base he used to recruit workers, mainly communists and socialists, to create a new movement.

Farrell became president on January 24, 1944, replacing Ramírez, who distrusted Perón's rising star. Perón obtained two new positions: minister of war and vice president. The team of Farrell and Perón used political pragmatism to face the new times. When Argentina declared war on Germany and Japan on March 27, 1945, the government looked for the support of the traditional political parties. This attempt failed, and civilian opposition matched military support. Farrell called for elections by July 1945, but the trade unions nominated Perón. Military officers forced Farrell to arrest Perón on October 13; four days later, masses of workers marched downtown, demanding Perón's liberation. Farrell freed his friend, who famously addressed the masses.

Farrell instituted several policies that had the effect of increasing support for Perón in the elections of February 1946, such as the grant of the annual thirteenth salary (a bonus of an extra month's salary at the end of the year). Perón won the election, and on June 4, 1946, Farrell transferred the presidential sash to his friend. In 1947 Farrell retired from all military and political activities, and he died on October 31, 1980.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century; Perón, Juan Domingo.


Byrne, Jim, Philip Coleman, and Jason King, eds. Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2007.

Potash, Robert. The Army and Politics in Argentina: Yrigoyen to Peron, 1928–1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969.

Rouquié, Alain. Poder militar y sociedad política en la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1981.

                                          Fernando Rocchi

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Farrell, Edelmiro (1887–1980)

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