Rivera Carballo, Julio Adalberto (1921–1973)

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Rivera Carballo, Julio Adalberto (1921–1973)

Julio Adalberto Rivera Carballo (b. 1921; d. 29 July 1973), army officer and president of El Salvador (1962–1967). Lieutenant Colonel Rivera headed the provisional government established on 25 January 1961, when a military coup d'état overthrew a leftist junta that had been in power since October 1960. Later, he resigned in order to assume leadership of the National Conciliation Party (PCN). In 1962, he was elected to the presidency as the PCN candidate, following a campaign boycotted by the opposition parties.

Although an outspoken anti-Communist, Rivera appeared to accept the Kennedy administration's argument that the best way to defeat communism was to attack poverty, injustice, and tyranny at home. An enthusiastic supporter of the Alliance for Progress, Rivera initiated a number of significant reforms in El Salvador, including a rural minimum wage. He also liberalized the political system, a policy that encouraged the development of opposition parties. In pushing reforms over conservative objections, Rivera benefited from the country's rapid economic growth in the early 1960s. Later, however, a downturn caused problems for his handpicked successor, Colonel Fidel Sánchez Hernández (1967–1972). Rivera was serving as ambassador to the United States at the time of his death.

See alsoEl Salvador, Political Parties: National Conciliation Party (PCN) .


On Salvadoran politics in the 1960s, see Stephen Webre, José Napoleón Duarte and the Christian Democratic Party in Salvadoran Politics, 1960–1972 (1979); James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of Modern Central America (1988); and Sara Gordon Rapoport, Crisis política y guerra en El Salvador (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Domínguez, Carlos Armando. Datos para una biografía del ex Presidente de la República Julio Adalberto Rivera. San Salvador: Taller Gráfico UCA, 1998.

                                      Stephen Webre

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Rivera Carballo, Julio Adalberto (1921–1973)

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