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Alejandro Agustín Lanusse

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Alejandro Lanusse
President of Argentina
In office
26 March 1971 – 24 May 1973
Appointed byMilitary junta
Vice PresidentNone
Preceded byRoberto Marcelo Levingston (de facto)
Succeeded byHéctor José Cámpora
Personal details
Alejandro Agustín Lanusse Gelly

(1918-08-28)August 28, 1918
Buenos Aires, Argentina
DiedAugust 26, 1996(1996-08-26) (aged 77)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Political partyIndependent
SpouseIleana María Bell Bidart
Military service
Branch/serviceArgentine Army
Years of service1938–1973
RankLieutenant General

Alejandro Agustín Lanusse Gelly (28 August 1918 – 26 August 1996) was the de facto president of the Argentine Republic between March 22, 1971, and May 25, 1973, during the military dictatorship of the country called the "Argentine Revolution".

On 26 March 1971, Lanusse assumed the presidency in a totally unfavorable political climate. Guerrilla violence grew, popular discontent also, the continuity of the military government became difficult to sustain. Lanusse evaluated that the solution to the multiple conflicts was to end the proscription of Peronism and to decree a political opening that allowed a transition towards democracy.[1]

Early life


He was born as Alejandro Agustín Lanusse Gelly on 28 August 1918, in Buenos Aires to Luis Gustavo Lanusse Justo and Albertina Gelly Cantilo.[citation needed]



A graduate of the Army Academy (Colegio Militar de la Nación, class of 1938), he served in different Cavalry units before becoming commander of the Regimiento de Granaderos a Caballo (Regiment of Horse Grenadiers, presidential escort unit). In 1951, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in an attempted coup to overthrow Juan Perón. He was released in 1955 with the Revolución Libertadora, a military uprising which ousted General Perón and set up a military dictatorship which was in power from 1955 to 1958. In 1956, he was designated Ambassador to the Holy See.

In 1960, he became assistant director of the Superior Military School and later Commander of the First Armored Cavalry Division. In 1962, he took part in the overthrowing of president Arturo Frondizi, and, in 1966, supported General Juan Carlos Onganía in the ousting of president Arturo Illia. In 1968, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Army.


Alejandro Lanusse's presidential inauguration, 1971.

Lanusse became president of Argentina in 1971. During his administration he established diplomatic relations with China and continuously faced political unrest, with an increase in guerrilla activity. Many political opponents were jailed, and Lanusse decided to negotiate with the Montoneros (a Peronist guerrilla movement) for the return of the corpse of Evita (Eva Duarte de Perón), Juan Domingo Perón's second wife whose body had been hidden by the "Revolución Libertadora". On 22 August 1971, several imprisoned guerrillas attempted to escape from the Naval Base of Rawson in Patagonia, and were executed without trial in the Trelew massacre.

In March 1973, presidential elections were held, and won by Hector Cámpora.[2][3]

Later years


In 1985, Lanusse published his autobiography and criticized the human rights violations that took place during the Dirty War, including the state murder of his cousin, diplomat Elena Holmberg.[4] He was placed under house arrest in 1994 for criticizing president Carlos Menem in a magazine interview.


  1. ^ "Lanusse y el GAN". 17 November 2017.
  2. ^ "El Historiador :: Documentos históricos :: Lanusse y el GAN". Elhistoriador.com.ar. Archived from the original on 17 August 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Presidencia de Alejandro Agustín Lanusse". País Global. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  4. ^ El Libro de el diario del juicio (in Spanish). Editorial Perfil. 1985. p. 43. ISBN 9789506390068. Retrieved 27 December 2018 – via Google Books.
Political offices
Preceded by President of Argentina
Succeeded by