The Revolucion Libertadora was a military uprising that ended the second presidential term of Juan Peron in Argentina, on September 16, 1955.
President Peron was first elected in 1946. In 1949 a constitutional amendment sponsored by the government introduced a number of workers' rights and the possibility of presidential reelection. Peron was reelected in 1952. At the time his administration was widely supported by the labor unions, the military and the Catholic Church.
However, economic problems, some of the government's policies and Peron's own personalism changed this situation. The opposition criticized Peron because of his treatment of dissidents . The Church distanced itself from Peron and by 1954 it was openly anti-Peronist, which also influenced the more religious and nationalistic factions of the military. The government, which had first granted privileges to the Church, now took them away in a distinctly confrontational fashion (see State-Church relations in Argentina for details).
By 1955 Peron had lost the leadership of a large part of the military, who conspired with other political actors . There were several uprisings in different parts of the country. On June 14, Catholic bishops spoke against Peron during a Corpus Christi procession which turned into a demonstration.
On June 16 Navy airplanes bombed the Plaza de Mayo, wounding or killing several hundreds of civilians. In retaliation, extremist Peronist groups attacked and burned several churches that night.
The only important political support for Peron came from the CGT (the main confederation of labor unions), which called the workers to defend the president. Peron addressed a workers' demonstration on August 31.
On September 16 a new uprising, led by General Eduardo Lonardi, General Pedro E. Aramburu and Admiral Isaac Rojas, deposed Peron and established a provisional government. For several days, there was some fighting in places like Cordoba Province (Gen. Lonardi's central command), the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base near Bahia Blanca, another naval base in Rio Santiago, and several Army garrisons in Corrientes Province. Two rebel destroyers, blockading the Rio de la Plata, were straffed by loyalist aircraft. The city of Mar del Plata was subjected to naval bombardment, and scattered skirmishes and air strikes took place elsewhere, including Buenos Aires itself. There were more than 200 fatalities overall. After realizing that the country was on the brink of civil war, Peron resigned and sought asylum in Paraguay.
On September 23 General Lonardi assumed the presidency and gave a speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada, saying that there would be "neither victors nor vanquished" . General Lonardi promised that the interim administration would end as soon as the country was "reorganized". His conciliatory tone earned him the opposition of hard-liners, and in November an internal coup deposed Lonardi and placed General Aramburu in the presidency.
After the Revolucion Libertadora, Peron and his followers were accused of treason, and Eva Peron's remains were moved to an undisclosed location. Public references to Peron or his late wife, including songs, writings and pictures, were forbidden. The Peronist Party suffered a proscription that was to last until Peron's return in 1973, even though Peron influenced the results of the 1958 and 1963 elections from his exile in Madrid.
History of Argentina
Historia Argentina: Los gobiernos de Peron.
Sucesos Historicos Argentinos.
Civiles y militares de 1955 a 1983.
La Revolucion Libertadora en Internet A group of people still supporting the 1955 uprising.
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