Argentina's "Black Year" 1962-1963

[ 1962 - 1963 ]

In Argentina's local and congressional elections of 1962, Peronist candidates were permitted on the ballot for the first time since the ouster of their leader Juan Domingo Peron (1895-1974), as president in 1955. The Peronistas won 45 out of 86 seats in the Chamber of Duputies and 9 of 14 governorships. This outcome so enraged the strongly anti-Peronist top military leaders, ultraconservatives know as the "Gorillas," that they refused to permit the elected Peronistas to take their seats in the government. A general strike ensued that threw the country into chaos. When Argentina's President Arturo Frondizi (1908-95) refused to resign (his political moderation was blamed for the Peronista's success), the Gorillas deposed and exiled him and seized control of the government. Soon the president of the Senate became a puppet dictator and ruled until free elections were held in 1963. Meanwhile, much internal fighting took place within the armed forces over whether to allow elections or establish a dictatorship. In late 1962, General Juan Carlos Ongania (1914-), commander in chief of the army, took the position that the armed forces should remove themselves from politics, but other military leaders attempted to assert the political power of the military on the civilian government. The Peronistas were forbidden to run candidates in the 1963 elections, so, in protest, they cast blank ballots as they had in 1957. In the midst of this explosive political situation full of intrigues, secret alliances, street fighting, intimidating methods of the military, and popular unrest, Arturo Umberto Illia (1900-83), a semi-leftist, was elected president. The Argentine economy was in shambles, the hatreds of opposing parties were hardened, and the fervor of the Peronistas was still strong after the so-called "Black Year."

Dictionary of Wars, 32-3.

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts