The Revolución Libertadora began in Argentina, resulting in the end of Juan Perón’s second term as President.
Juan Perón had been elected President of Argentina in 1946 with overwhelming support from the country’s working class thanks in large part to his wife, Evita. Perón went on to win a second term but, before long, the economy began to falter. This coincided with Evita’s death from cancer in July 1952, and Perón soon found his support amongst the working classes declining.
By 1955 Perón’s government had become increasingly repressive. The Catholic Church began to turn against the President in the face of controversial legislation that would legalise prostitution and divorce, and in return was threatened with the separation of church and state.
Meanwhile Perón lost the support of large swathes of the military. Just days after 100,000 people joined a Corpus Christi procession that turned into an anti-Perón demonstration, thirty navy and air force planes killed more than 300 people when they bombed the Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires.
Although this revolt was put down, tensions continued to mount. On 16 September, the military in Cordoba seized control of the city, and large swathes of the country’s armed forces came out against the President. Within two days Buenos Aires was facing a blockade, and the country was on the brink of civil war.
With no other options open to him, Perón resigned the Presidency on 19 September and fled to exile in Paraguay. Four days later General Eduardo Lonardi, one of the coup’s leaders, became the provisional president after being greeted in Buenos Aires by the largest crowd in the city’s history.