| President of Argentina |
22 December 1981 –18 June 1982
|Preceded by||Carlos Lacoste (interim)|
|Succeeded by||Alfredo Oscar Saint Jean (acting)|
|Born||15 July 1926|
|Died||12 January 2003 76) (aged|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Spouse(s)||Lucía Noemí Gentili|
|Alma mater||Colegio Militar de la Nación|
|Years of service||1944–1982|
Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli (Spanish pronunciation: [leoˈpoldo foɾtuˈnato ɣalˈtjeɾi kasˈteʎi] ; 15 July 1926 – 12 January 2003) was an Argentine general and President of Argentina from 22 December 1981 to 18 June 1982, during the last military dictatorship (known officially as the National Reorganization Process). The death squad, 601 Intelligence Battalion, directly reported to him. He was removed from power soon after the Argentine defeat in the Falklands War, whose invasion he had ordered.
Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The President of Argentina, officially known as the President of the Argentine Nation, is both head of state and head of government of Argentina. Under the national Constitution, the President is also the chief executive of the federal government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
A dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government, characterized by a single leader or group of leaders with either no party or a weak party, little mass mobilization, and limited political pluralism. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections"; therefore dictatorships are "not democracies". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries, dictatorships and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government, gradually eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. Typically, in a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more closely resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictatorship is taking advantage of their strong personality, usually by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.
Galtieri was an Italian Argentine born to working class immigrant parents.At 17 he enrolled at the National Military Academy to study civil engineering, and his early military career was as an officer in the engineering branch. As well as rising through the ranks of the Military, he continued his studies in engineering until the mid-1950s. In 1958, he became a professor of engineering at the Senior War College.
The National Military College is the institution in charge of the undergraduate education of officers of the Argentine Army. It is located at El Palomar, Buenos Aires.
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.
Galtieri was married to Lucía Noemí Gentili, and the couple had one son and two daughters.
In 1975, after more than 25 years as a combat engineer, Galtieri became commander of the Argentine engineering corps. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the military coup that started the self-styled National Reorganisation Process in 1976 and rose further, becoming a major general in 1977, and commander-in-chief in 1980 with the rank of lieutenant general. During the junta's rule, Congress was suspended, trade unions, political parties, and provincial governments were banned, and in what became known as the Dirty War, between 9,000 and 30,000 people deemed left-wing subversives disappeared from society. Torture and mass executions were both commonplace. The economy, which had been in dire condition prior to the coup, recovered for a short time, then deteriorated further. [ citation needed ]
A trade union is an association of workers forming a legal unit or legal personhood, usually called a "bargaining unit", which acts as bargaining agent and legal representative for a unit of employees in all matters of law or right arising from or in the administration of a collective agreement. Labour unions typically fund the formal organization, head office, and legal team functions of the labour union through regular fees or union dues. The delegate staff of the labour union representation in the workforce are made up of workplace volunteers who are appointed by members in democratic elections.
The Dirty War is the name used by the military junta or civic-military dictatorship of Argentina for the period of United States-backed state terrorism in Argentina from 1976 to 1983 as a part of Operation Condor, during which military and security forces and right-wing death squads in the form of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance hunted down any political dissidents and anyone believed to be associated with socialism, left-wing Peronism or the Montoneros movement.
In international human rights law, a forced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization, or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person's fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law.
In March 1981, Galtieri visited the United States and was warmly received, as the Reagan administration viewed the regime as a bulwark against communism. National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen described him as a "majestic general". An adherent to the Argentine military's Cold War-era doctrine of "ideological frontiers", Galtieri secured his country's support for rebel groups opposing the government in Nicaragua, the Contras; in August, he sent advisers to help organize the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN, for a time the principal Contra group), as well as training FDN leaders in Argentine bases. His support for this initiative allowed Galtieri to remove a number of rival generals. In December 1981, he rose to the Presidency of Argentina in a coup that ousted General Roberto Viola. Argentine support became the principal source of funds and training for the Contras during Galtieri's tenure.
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.
Richard Vincent Allen was the United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1982, having been Reagan's chief foreign policy advisor from 1977. He has been a fellow of the Hoover Institution since 1983. He is a past member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
Galtieri retained direct control of the army whilst President of the governing Military Junta and did not appoint a new commander-in-chief. [ citation needed ] Alemann slashed spending, began selling off government-owned industries (with only minor success), enacted a tight monetary policy, and ordered salaries frozen (amid 130% inflation). The Central Bank Circular 1050, which tied mortgage rates to the value of the US dollar locally, was maintained, however, leading to further deepening of the crisis; GDP fell by 5%, and business investment by 20% over the weakened levels of 1981.He appointed conservative economist and publisher Roberto Alemann as Economy Minister. Alemann inherited an economy in deep recession in the aftermath of José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz's economic policies of the late 1970s.
Roberto Alemann is an Argentine lawyer, economist, publisher, and academic.
José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz was an Argentine executive and policy maker. He served as Minister of the Economy under de facto President Jorge Rafael Videla between 1976 and 1981, and shaped economic policy during the National Reorganization Process military dictatorship.
One of Galtieri's closest allies, the head of the First Army Corps, General Guillermo Suárez Mason, was named Chairman of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), at the time the state petroleum concern, and the largest company of any type in Argentina. Suárez Mason's turn at YPF would help result in a US$6 billion loss for the company –the largest recorded corporate loss in the world, up to that point.
Galtieri instituted limited political reforms which allowed the expression of dissent, and anti-junta demonstrations soon became common, as did agitation for a return to democracy.
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In April 1982, after Galtieri had been in office for four months and with his popularity low,Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, governed by the [[United Kingdom],] and subject to a long-standing Argentine territorial claim.
Initially the invasion was popular in Argentina, and the anti-junta demonstrations were replaced by patriotic demonstrations in support of Galtieri.
Galtieri and most of his government mistakenly believed the UK would not respond militarilyand that the United States would not interfere because the junta had supported the Central Intelligence Agency in its fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, while Galtieri had been warmly welcomed during his visit to Washington, D.C.
The British government led by the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, determined to overturn the invasion. It dispatched a seaborne task force to drive the Argentinian forces from the islands, resulting in the Falklands War and an Argentinian surrender on 14 June 1982.
On 14 June 1982, the Falklands' capital, Stanley, was retaken by British forces. Within days Galtieri was removed from power, and he spent the next 18 months at a well-protected country retreat while democracy was restored to Argentina. Along with other members of the former junta, he was arrested in late 1983 and charged in a military court with human rights violations during the Dirty War and with mismanaging the Falklands War. The Argentine Army's internal investigation, known as the Rattenbach report after the general who led it,recommended that those responsible for the misconduct of the war be prosecuted under the Code of Military Justice. In 1986 he was sentenced to twelve years in prison.
Galtieri was cleared of the civil rights charges in December 1985, but (together with the Air Force and Navy commanders-in-chief) in May 1986 he was found guilty of mishandling the war and sentenced to prison. All three appealed in a civil court, and the prosecution appealed for heavier sentences. In November 1988 the original sentences were confirmed, and all three commanders were stripped of their rank. In 1989, Galtieri and 39 other officers of the dictatorship received President Carlos Menem's pardon.
Galtieri was heavily blamed for Argentina's humiliating defeat in the ill-conceived Falklands War. Following his release from prison, he moved to the Villa Devoto suburb of Buenos Aires, and lived modestly with his wife Lucía. He became a recluse and refused most requests for interviews by journalists, though in a rare interview he stated he had "no regrets" over anything he had done during the Dirty War. He lived on an army pension of about $1,800 per month, and attempted to claim a Presidential pension, but a judge denied it. In her ruling, the judge stated that his presidency had been illegal due to his never having been elected, and she also ordered him to pay court costs. In May 2002, he was invited to the military parade of the Argentine Army for the celebrations of Argentine Army Day (Día del Ejército Argentino): the presence of the former "president de facto" caused a huge controversy in public opinion after he was confronted and questioned by the journalist Martín Ciccioli in the television programme Kaos en la Ciudad.
In July 2002, new civil charges were brought concerning the kidnapping of children and the disappearance of 18 leftist sympathizers in the late 1970s (while Galtieri was commander of the Second Army Corps), and the disappearance or death of three Spanish citizens at about the same time. Galtieri faced prosecution with 28 other officials, but due to his poor health, he was allowed to remain at home. He died several months later.
Leopoldo Galtieri underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer on 16 August 2002 at a hospital in Buenos Aires. He died there of a heart attack on 12 January 2003, aged 76. [ citation needed ]His body was interred in a small mausoleum in La Chacarita Cemetery in the capital.
Roberto Eduardo Viola was an Argentine military officer who briefly served as president of Argentina from March 29 to December 11, 1981 as a military dictatorship.
Admiral Jorge Isaac Anaya was a Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Navy. He was born in Bahía Blanca, in the province of Buenos Aires. He participated in the Right-wing military dictatorship known as the National Reorganisation Process (1976–1983) and, along with Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri and Basilio Lami Dozo, was a member of the Third Military Junta that ruled Argentina between 1981 and 1982. He was the main architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over the Falkland Islands that led to the Falklands War.
The Beagle conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978.
The Batallón de Inteligencia 601 was a special military intelligence service of the Argentine Army whose structure was set up in the late 1970s, active in the Dirty War and Operation Condor, and disbanded in 2000. Its personnel collected information on and infiltrated guerrilla groups and human rights organisations, and coordinated killings, kidnappings and other abuses.
The Trial of the Juntas was the judicial trial of the members of the de facto military government that ruled Argentina during the dictatorship of the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, which lasted from 1976 to 1983.
Carlos Guillermo Suárez Mason was an Argentine military officer convicted for Dirty War crimes during the 1976–1983 military dictatorship. He was in charge of the Batallón de Inteligencia 601.
The Margarita Belén Massacre took place during the Dirty War in Argentina. It involved the torture and execution of 22 Montoneros, some of whom were killed after surrendering and laying down their weapons near the town of Margarita Belén, Chaco Province, on 13 December 1976, in a joint operation of the Argentine Army and the Chaco Provincial Police. One of the victims of the massacre, Néstor Carlos Salas, is reported to have been a Montoneros commander and took part in a number of guerrilla operations. Argentina was at the time ruled by the National Reorganization Process.
The last stage of the Falklands War was the surrender of the Argentine Governor at Port Stanley.
There were many events leading to the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina over possession of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
Argentina–Chile relations refers to international relations between the Republic of Chile and the Argentine Republic. Argentina and Chile share the world's third-longest international border, which is 5,300 km (3,300 mi) long and runs from north to the south along the Andes mountains. Although gaining their independence during the South American wars of liberation, during much of the 19th and the 20th century relations between the countries were chilled as a result of disputes over the border in Patagonia, although Chile and Argentina have never engaged in a war. In recent years relations have improved dramatically. Despite increased trade between the two countries, Argentina and Chile have followed quite different economic policies. Chile has signed free trade agreements with countries such as China, the US, Canada, South Korea and the EU and is an active member of the APEC, while Argentina belongs to the Mercosur regional free trade area. In April 2018, both countries suspended membership of the Union of South American Nations.
Nicanor Costa Méndez was an Argentine diplomat.
Operation Charly, was allegedly the code-name given to a program undertaken by the military establishment in Argentina with the objective of providing military and counterinsurgency assistance to right-wing dictatorships in Central America to murder left-wing activists. The operation was either headed by the Argentine military with the agreement of the Pentagon, or was led by the US administration and used the Argentinians as a proxy. All of the Junta members are currently in prison for convicted for crimes against humanity.
Brigadier General Basilio Arturo Ignacio Lami Dozo was a member of the Argentine Air Force. He participated in the military dictatorship known as the National Reorganisation Process (1976–1983) and, along with Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri and Jorge Isaac Anaya, was a member of the Third Military Junta that ruled Argentina between 1981 and 1982. Alongside Reynaldo Bignone and Omar Graffigna he was one of the last surviving members of the dictatorship.
Lieutenant General Martín Antonio Balza is an Argentine military former Chief of Staff of the Argentine Army. From 2003 to 2011 he was Argentine ambassador to the Republic of Colombia.
Operación Soberanía was a planned Argentine military invasion of Chile started on 22 December 1978 due to the Beagle conflict dispute. The invasion was halted after a few hours and Argentine forces retreated from the conflict zone without a fight. Whether the Argentine infantry actually crossed the border into Chile has not been established. Argentine sources insist that they crossed the border.
The Papal mediation in the Beagle conflict followed the failure of negotiations between Chile and Argentina, when, on 22 December 1978, the Argentinian Junta started Operation Soberanía, to invade Cape Horn and islands awarded to Chile by the Beagle Channel Arbitration. Soon after the event, Pope John Paul II offered to mediate and sent his personal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samoré, to Buenos Aires. Argentina, in acceptance of the authority of the Pope over the overwhelmingly Catholic Argentine population, called off the military operation and accepted the mediation. On 9 January 1979, Chile and Argentina signed the Act of Montevideo formally requesting mediation by the Vatican and renouncing the use of force.
Mario Benjamin Menéndez was the Argentine governor of the Falklands during the 1982 Argentine occupation of the islands. He also served in the Argentine Army. Menéndez surrendered Argentine forces to Britain during the Falklands War.
Desmalvinización is a concept in Argentinian society that appeared after the failure of the Falklands War in 1982, whereby the media refrained from mentioning the war and returning soldiers were almost ignored. It contrasts with the nationalistic, anti-British fervour that proceeded and accompanied the war, encouraged by the military junta that ruled Argentina at the time. It gets its name from the Argentinian name for the islands: "Las Malvinas".
The Argentine president Carlos Menem made a series of presidential pardons to people involved in the 1970s Dirty war. The first decrees were signed in 1989, and further ones were signed in 1990. The pardons were eventually revoked in 2003.
| President of Argentina |