Government Junta of Chile (1932)
Government Junta of Chile (also known as the Government Junta of Socialist Republic or Socialist Junta), was a political structure established during the anarchy (1931 - 1932) that followed the resignation of President Carlos Ibanez del Campo. The Socialist Republic of Chile ended with the election of Arturo Alessandri as new president of Chile.
On July 26, 1931, President Carlos Ibanez del Campo resigned, following the economic crisis caused by the market crash of 1929. The office was assumed by the president of the Senate, Pedro Opazo Letelier, who promptly himself resigned (the very next morning) after naming Juan Esteban Montero as his successor. Montero, as a way out of the political impasse, immediately called for presidential elections. In the meanwhile he assumed as Vice President.
The presidential elections finally took place on October 4, 1931, with Juan Esteban Montero as the clear winner. He took over again in the midst of a political and economic chaos. His program called for the implementation of an austerity program that involved the reduction of public expenditures and public salaries, a downsizing of the public administration and an increase of the foreign debt. Notwithstanding these harsh measures, the depreciation of the currency continued, and inflation soared while the Central Bank reserves were at an all time low. This economic program only managed to cause widespread discontent, while in no way improving the economy, and in turn led to his downfall.
There were three principal groups of critics against Montero's policies: one headed by journalist Carlos Davila, another (socialist) headed by Air Commodore Marmaduque Grove, and the third, known as the NAP (New Public Association) headed by Eugenio Matte (of socialist orientation also.) On June 4, 1932, the Air Force, under the leadership of Commodore Grove, rebelled against the government, causing the immediate resignation of President Montero, and the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Chile. The executive power was vested in a Government Junta made up of General Arturo Puga (in representation of the military party), Carlos Davila and Eugenio Matte.
As soon as the Junta took power, they decreed the dissolution of Congress, and a series of measures of social character. From the beginning, this Junta captivated the public support, but soon it became apparent that there was no unity within it. Only a week and a half later, on June 13, Davila resigned, and was replaced by Rolando Merino Reyes.
Three days later, Davila managed to replace General Puga, and the other members, with himself, Pedro Nolasco Cardenas and Alberto Cabero. Public order was reestablished, but it gave way to a regime whose only support was force. On July 8, Davila dissolved the Junta and assumed power as Provisional President. He called new congressional elections, and adopted a new batch of measures to solve the economic crisis. Nonetheless, the opposition to his rule was increasing daily, and finally was forced to resign on September 13, 1932, handing power to General Bartolome Blanche.
History of Chile
List of Government Juntas of Chile
List of coup d'etat in Chile
List of Heads of State
History of the Socialist Junta
Historical Analysis of the Military Coups in Chile
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