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Posts Tagged ‘María’

Know Argentina: María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón

Article by Linus Xavier

If your holiday or business destination is Buenos Aires, you won’t start planning very long before the name “Perón” associated with Argentina keeps popping up. This name has become synonomous with the country in the best of ways and the worst of ways.

Once you are comfortable in one of the beautiful Buenos Aires hotels, you can take tours to see the impact the Peróns made on the city and the country. All around the city you will find landmarks that are reminders of the Perón era.

Juan Perón himself was a memorable president, and two of his three wives left their powerful marks on the country.

María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón was better known as Isabel Martinez de Perón. She was born in 1931. She met Juan Perón while he was a widower in exile in Panama, and they were married in 1961.

Isabel Perón took over the role of President of Argentina on the death of her husband Juan in 1974. She became the first woman president of a country in the Western Hemisphere.

El Obelisco de Buenos Aires in the Plaza de la República, the memorial of so much of Buenos Aires’ history, was hung with a sign saying “El silencio es salud (Silence is health)”. But her people would not be silenced and the country’s unrest grew bigger and bigger.

She had the misfortune to take charge of the country at the beginning of probably its most tumultuous period. She seems to started off with some popularity, but she was not strong enough to keep control and prevent what happened next.

Her government was toppled by a coup d’etat that led to the infamous period of the “Dirty War” and the troubled times of the “Falklands War/ Guerra de las Malvinas”. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people “disappeared” during these tumultous years.

It is difficult to judge to what extent she was personally to blame for the downfall of her government, or whether she was just a manipulated “cat’s paw”, but she began to get involved with what many considered shady people, such as Qadaffi, Ceausescu, and the Shah of Iran. There were also rumours of imbezzlement of funds on her part.

The fatal blow to her was her link to José López Rega, believed to be involved in some way with the “Triple A Death Squad” that murdered hundreds of people.

After the coup d’etat in 1976, she was placed under house arrest in Argentina for five years, then exiled to Spain. After being pardoned, she returned briefly to Argentina in 1984 to help facilitate party negotiations, then returned to Spain to live quietly.

As recently as 2007 Isabel Perón was arrested in Spain in connection with the “Triple A” activities during her years in office, but in 2008 her extradition to Argentina was denied.

By 1983 its troubled past behind it, peace and civil liberty came at last to Argentina. It has now become one of the most interesting, pleasant and beautiful destinations in the world.

About the Author

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