Gainza Paz, Alberto (1899–1977)

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Gainza Paz, Alberto (1899–1977)

Alberto Gainza Paz was an Argentine newspaperman and editor of the Buenos Aires newspaper La Prensa. He gained international attention in 1951 when his newspaper was expropriated by the government of Juan Domingo Perón.

Gainza Paz studied law, graduating in 1921. By 1943 he had succeeded his uncle, Ezequiel Paz, as editor of La Prensa. Founded in 1869 by the Paz family, La Prensa maintained an independent conservative editorial position dedicated to the expression of public opinion. In 1944 Perón, then minister of war in the military government of Edelmiro Farrell, closed the newspaper for five days for "distorting the truth." In 1945 Gainza Paz and the owner of La Nación, another important conservative newspaper that opposed to Perón's policies, both were imprisoned temporarily, charged with conspiring against the government. Between 1947 and 1951 Gainza Paz clashed with the Perón government. Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Eva thought of La Prensa as one of their worst enemies.

The paper and its publisher became international beacons of democracy, standing firmly against dictatorship. The Sindicato de Vendedores de Diarios (newspaper salesmen's union), controlled by Perón, forced the paper to suspend its publication. Ultimately, the paper was expropriated in April 1951 and transformed into a trade-union tabloid. Gainza Paz fled into exile, where he became a symbol of freedom of the press and received many honors. With the fall of Perón in 1955, La Prensa was returned to the Paz family, resumed publication under Gainza Paz's direction early in 1956, and regained its former stature.

See alsoJournalism; Perón, Juan Domingo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Page, Joseph. Perón: A Biography. New York: Random House, 1983.

Panella, Claudio, et al. La prensa y el periodismo: Crítica, conflicto, expropiación. La Plata, Argentina: Ediciones de Periodismo y Comunicación, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, 1999.

Potash, Robert A. The Army and Politics in Argentina, 1945–1962: Perón to Frondizi. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1980.

Sirvén, Pablo. Perón y los medios de comunicación (1943–1955). Buenos Aires: Conselho de Empresários da América Latina, 1984.

                                      Paul Goodwin

                                   Vicente Palermo