Viola, Roberto Eduardo (1924–1994)

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Viola, Roberto Eduardo (1924–1994)

Roberto Eduardo Viola (October 13, 1924–September 30, 1994) served as military leader and de facto president of Argentina from March 29 to December 11 of 1981. Born in Buenos Aires, he graduated from the Military Academy (Colegio Militar) in 1944. While a colonel, Viola served as an Argentine representative to the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington, D.C. (1967–1968). In 1975 he was promoted to chief of the general staff.

He was deeply involved in the Dirty War (1976–1982). In 1981 he succeeded General Jorge Videla as the president of the republic. Viola, who represented a "moderate" branch of the harsh military regime, tried a timid liberalization of political activity but was incapable of dealing with Argentina's faltering economy. by the end of the year General Leopoldo Galtieri politically outmaneuvered Viola and by December 22 had seized the presidency. A democratic government took power in 1983, and in 1985 Viola was sentenced to prison for his participation in state terrorism. In December 1990 he was released under a general amnesty decreed by President Carlos Saúl Menem.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century; Dirty War; Galtieri, Leopoldo Fortunato; Menem, Carlos Saúl; Videla, Jorge Rafael.


Cardoso, Oscar Raúl, Ricardo Kirschbaum, and Eduardo van der Kooy. Malvinas, la trama secreta. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1992.

Novaro, Marcos, and Vicente Palermo. La dictadura militar. Buenos Aires: Paidós, 2003.

Munck, Gerardo. Authoritarianism and Democratization: Soldiers and Workers in Argentina, 1976–1983. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

                                      Vicente Palermo

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Viola, Roberto Eduardo (1924–1994)

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