Lanusse, Alejandro Agustín (1918–1996)

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Lanusse, Alejandro Agustín (1918–1996)

As a member of the Argentine military and a politician, Lanusse became the last de facto president of the Argentine Revolution (1966–1973). Born August 28, 1918, he entered the army's Military Academy in 1938. He was a determined anti-Peronist and in 1951 took part in the failed coup against Perón (ruled 1946–1955) led by General Benjamin Menéndez. He was sentenced to life in prison but was released following the overthrow of Perón in 1955. Ambassador to the Holy See in 1956, in 1960 he was appointed assistant director of the Higher School of War. A member of the "Legalist" (blue) faction of the army, in June 1966 he played an active role in the military coup that removed President Arturo Illia from office.

In 1968 Lanusse was appointed commander in chief of the army. After the civil uprising known as the Cordobazo in 1969 and the kidnapping of General Pedro Aramburu in 1970, Lanusse forced the resignation of de facto president Juan Onganía through the Junta of Commanders. With the regime cornered by the political and social crisis, and with guerrilla violence increasing, after the brief presidency of General Roberto Levingston, Lanusse assumed the presidency in March 1971, with the aim of pushing forward a transition to democracy. He promoted the Great National Accord reestablishing political party activity, and called for elections for 1973. He lifted the ban on Peronism and ordered the corpse of Eva Duarte to be returned to Perón. However, owing to his political aspirations, as well as to the tensions he had to deal with from within the military regime, he considerably manipulated the political process by imposing ad hoc rules that kept Perón from running as a candidate.

Following Hector Cámpora's triumph in the presidential elections, Lanusse virtually withdrew from active politics, although he was to be very critical of the subsequent military dictatorship (1976–1983). In 1985 he testified in the trial of the military juntas for the torture and disappearance of his former press secretary and his cousin. Lanusse died in Buenos Aires on August 26, 1996.

See alsoAramburu, Pedro Eugenio; Argentina: The Twentieth Century; Cámpora, Héctor José; Cordobazo, El; Illia, Arturo Umberto; Levingston, Roberto Marcelo; Onganía, Juan Carlos; Perón, Juan Domingo; Perón, María Eva Duarte de.


Halperín Donghi, Tulio. La larga agonía de la Argentina Perónista. Buenos Aires: Ariel, 1994.

Lanusse, Alejandro Agustín. Mi testimonio. Buenos Aires: Lasserre, 1977.

Ó Donnell, Guillermo. El Estado burocrático autoritario. Buenos Aires: Editorial UB, 1982.

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

                                         Vicente Palermo