United Officers Group (GOU)

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United Officers Group (GOU)

There is some dispute on the exact meaning of the acronym GOU, which was one of several secret lodges of Argentine military officers. Robert Potash claims that it was originally formed by twelve members in February or early March 1943 as the Grupo Organizador y Unificador, and that an enlarged organization of nineteen members was formed in July as the Grupo Obra de Unificación. Others have asserted that the initials stood for Gobierno, Orden, Unidad, insinuating a connection with Franco's Spain. It is most commonly referred to as the United Officers Group. Although some members had been German-trained and sympathized with the Nazis, the organization was primarily concerned with military and economic competition with Brazil, industrialization, the acquisition of arms, and domestic political corruption.

On June 6, 1943, three days after a coup ousted Ramón Castillo, the GOU took over and installed General Pedro Ramírez as president. The GOU placed its most prominent officers into high political and military positions. Under Pedro Ramírez, Colonel Juan D. Perón took over the insignificant department of labor. Perón, however, used this position to establish close ties with the labor unions that later helped him get elected president in 1946. Bowing to U.S. pressure, Ramírez broke diplomatic relations with the Axis powers on January 26, 1944. His vice president, General Edelmiro Farrell, condemning the break, replaced him in February. GOU member Colonel Juan D. Perón became Farrell's war minister and vice president. With this transition, the GOU was dissolved on February 23, 1944. The Farrell government lasted until 1946.

See alsoPerón, Juan Domingo .


Robert A. Potash, The Army and Politics in Argentina, 1928–1945 (1969).

Marvin Goldwert, Democracy, Militarism, and Nationalism in Argentina, 1930–1966 (1972).

Alberto Ciría, Parties and Power in Modern Argentina, 1930–1946 (1974).

Ronald C. Newton, The "Nazi Menace" in Argentina, 1931–1947 (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Norden, Deborah L. Military Rebellion in Argentina: Between Coups and Consolidation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

Romero, Raúl José. Fuerzas armadas: La alternativa de la derecha para el acceso al poder (1930–1976). Buenos Aires: Editorial Centro de Estudios Unión para la Nueva Mayoría, 1998.

                                             Roger Gravil

                                   Christel K. Converse

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United Officers Group (GOU)