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Juan Velasco Alvarado

Velasco Alvarado, Juan (hwän vāläsˈkō älväräˈħō) [key], 1910–77, president of Peru (1968–75). Born of working class parents, he entered the army (1929) and rose to the rank of general. As army commander in chief, he led (1968) the junta that deposed President Belaúnde Terry after his failure to expropriate U.S.-owned oil operations. Velasco appointed an all-military cabinet, and immediately seized the disputed oil fields. He restricted the press, launched a sweeping agrarian reform aimed at breaking up the country's large estates, and worked toward the nationalization of selected industries.

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

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