Ramírez, Pedro Pablo (1884–1962)

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Ramírez, Pedro Pablo (1884–1962)

Pedro Pablo Ramírez was the de facto president of Argentina for nine months in 1943–1944. Born in La Paz, Entre Ríos, Ramírez became president on June 6,1943, in the wake of the June 4 coup that overthrew conservative President Ramón Castillo, who was determined to maintain the oligarchic character of the political regime and to end Argentine neutrality in the World War II. A major general, Ramírez had been minister of war in Castillo's administration. Ramírez's first cabinet was sharply divided on World War II, and while pledging to eliminate corruption and restore democracy, it severely harassed Communists and restricted unions. Beginning in October 1943, ultra-rightists dominated the government and repression increased drastically; Communist organizations went underground; political parties were abolished; Catholic education was mandatory in public schools; and the press was strictly censored.

Ramírez lacked a strong personality and clear opinions. Into this vacuum stepped a military lodge, the United Officers Group (Grupo Obra de Unificación, or GOU), controlled by nationalist colonels, admirers of the Nazi regime, among whom was Juan Domingo Perón. This group quickly began to push its own objectives: the enlargement of the social and political support of the regime, the prevention of any progress by communism, and the preservation of neutrality. Perón became the head of the Department of Labor and gained labor union support by means of cooptation.

Using Argentine involvement in a Bolivian coup and an aborted weapons deal with Germany as leverage, the United States pressed Ramírez to break relations with Germany and Japan, which he did on January 26, 1944. Furious officers called for Ramírez's resignation. But when he tried to do so on February 24, 1944, Ramírez was persuaded instead to delegate his authority to his vice president, Edelmiro Farrell, because of fears that his resignation would complicate diplomatic recognition. Ramírez ultimately resigned on March 9.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century; Argentina, Organizations: United Officers Group (GOU); Castillo, Ramón; Perón, Juan Domingo.


Potash, Robert A. The Army and Politics in Argentina. Vol. 1: 1928–1945: Irigoyen to Perón. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969.

Rouquié, Alain. Poder militar y sociedad política en la Argentina. 2 vols. Translated by Arturo Iglesias Echegaray. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1982.

                                          Joel Horowitz

                                         Vicente Palermo

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Ramírez, Pedro Pablo (1884–1962)

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