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Juan Pistarini

Juan Pistarini (1882-1956) was an Argentine general and politician.

Pistarini was born in the town of Victorica, La Pampa Province. An Army major by 1921, he was a close associate of General Agustin Justo. President Justo appointed Pistarini Minister of Public Works in 1935, and Pistarini's first important initiative was for the construction of a new international airport outside Buenos Aires. He was proroted to the rank of general in 1937 and, between then and 1940, was stationed in Germany and Italy. Appointed Director of Army Engineers upon his return, Pistarini recommended German contractors for public works in Argentina and was open regarding his Nazi and Fascist sympathies. Newton, Ronald. The Nazi Menace in Argentina, 1931-47 His role in a coup d'etat resulted in his being returned to the post of Minister of Public Works and briefly, Vice President. He resuscitated the project for the international airport and administered the ambitious public works agenda set by President Juan Peron when the populist leader took office in 1946. He oversaw and helped plan the construction or development of modern barracks, Argentina's first expressways, numerous public vacation resorts, several thousand schools, water treatment plants, a modern merchant marine, 650,000 housing units and the planting of two million trees, among other works. He also marshalled the dormant National Mortgage Bank to extend subsidized loans to new homeowners, often at interest rates well below inflation. Ill health led to his retirement in June 1952 and following Peron's September 1955 overthrow, he had his property seized, was stripped of rank and imprisoned in Ushuaia. The sub-Antarctic climate in Ushuaia led to a worsening in Pistarini's health, and he was returned to Buenos Aires, where he died at a military hospital in 1956.Historical Dictionary of Argentina. London: Scarecrow Press, 1978.

The Ministro Pistarini International Airport of Buenos Aires, opened in 1950 in nearby Ezeiza, is named after him.

Related websites

Newton, Ronald. The Nazi Menace in Argentina, 1931-47

Soldados Digital: Pistarini, el hacedor

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