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Juan Domingo Perón

Second Presidency

In 1971, President Lanusse, convinced that political order could not be achieved without the former leader, cleared the way for Perón's return. Perón was forbidden to run in the Mar., 1973, presidential election, but his designated candidate, Hector Cámpora, won. Cámpora resigned in July, and the following September Perón was elected president by 62% of the vote; his third wife, Isabel María Martínez de Perón, 1931–, whom he had married in 1961, was elected vice president though she was widely resented by those devoted to the late Eva Perón. Restored to power, Perón moved sharply to the right. He died of a heart attack in 1974, and his wife assumed the presidency.

Isabel Perón, also known as Isabelita, was unable to command the support of any powerful group, not even organized labor. Following a sharp rise in political terrorism and guerrilla activity, the armed forces intervened on Mar. 24, 1976, deposing her and instituting one of the bloodiest regimes in South American history. Perón was placed under house arrest, then exiled to Spain in 1981; the military ruled until 1982. Perón resigned as head of the Peronist party in 1985. In 2007 the Argentinian courts issued warrants for her arrest, in connection with investigations into disappearances and death squads while she was president, but a Spanish court refused to extradite her, on grounds of inadequate evidence and the expiration of the statute of limitations. In 1990, the Peronist candidate Carlos Saúl Menem won the presidential elections, demonstrating the continued appeal of Peronism in Argentina.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Argentinian History: Biographies


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