Skip to main content

Velasco Alvarado, Juan (1910–1977)

Velasco Alvarado, Juan (1910–1977)

Juan Velasco Alvarado (b. 16 June 1910; d. 24 December 1977), military officer and president of Peru (1968–1975), leader of a radical nationalist government that introduced a number of reforms and increased state intervention in economic, social, and political affairs. Velasco was born in Piura and entered the army as a private in 1929. In 1930 he was accepted to the officers' military school, from which he graduated first in his class. After serving as army officer in the Peruvian jungle, he continued his military training in the Advanced War School. In 1959 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and in 1962–1963 he was the military attaché in Paris. In 1963 he was promoted to division general and served in Washington, D.C.

In 1968, Velasco and twelve other army officers plotted to oust President Fernando Belaúnde Terry. They allegedly elaborated the Plan Inca, a blueprint for introducing strategic reforms intended to modernize the country and avoid leftist and social uprisings. Soon after the coup of 3 October 1968, Velasco and his government team initiated a process of nationalization of the petroleum, mining, fishing, and agrarian industries. A vast agrarian reform was implemented, and in 1974 the press was nationalized. With initial popular support, Velasco's popularity had declined considerably by 1975. In 1973 he suffered a stroke that led to the amputation of his left leg. General Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerruti led a 1975 coup that ousted Velasco and prepared for the return of democracy in 1980. Velasco died in Lima.

See alsoBelaúnde Terry, Fernando; Plan Inca.


Peter Cleaves and Martin Scurrah, Agriculture, Bureaucracy, and Military Government in Peru (1980).

George Philip, The Rise and Fall of the Peruvian Military Radicals, 1968–1976 (1978).

Juan Velasco Alvarado, La revolución peruana (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Franco, Carlos, and Rolando Ames. El Perú de Velasco. Lima: Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Participación, 1986.

Kruijt, Dirk. Revolution by Decree: Peru, 1968–1975. Amsterdam: Thela Publishers, 1994.

Lynch, Nicolás. Política y antipolítica en el Perú. Lima: DESCO, Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo, 2000.

                              Alfonso W. Quiroz

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Velasco Alvarado, Juan (1910–1977)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 18 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Velasco Alvarado, Juan (1910–1977)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (April 18, 2019).

"Velasco Alvarado, Juan (1910–1977)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved April 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.