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Argentina, armed struggle and guerilla organizations, 1960s–1970s

Pablo Augusto Bonavena

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place South America » Argentina

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics class (social), conflict, democracy, guerilla war, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00121.x


There is a long history of armed struggle in defense of popular interests in Argentina. One of its first antecedents can be found among colonos , agricultural immigrant workers in the Santa Fe province in 1893. As the poor saw themselves hurt by the tax burden, colonos rose in arms against the authorities, an event that paralleled the creation of the Radical Civic Union (Unión Cívica Radical, UCR) – a political party that still survives. Another early case of armed action was carried out by anarchist groups at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the street executions of police chief Ramón Falcón (1909) and of Colonel Héctor Benigno Varela (1923) – both condemned for leading bloody repression against workers' protests. These attacks were carried out respectively by Simón Radowitzky (1891–1956) and Kurt Gustav Wilkens (1886–1925). Another important anarchist figure was Severino di Giovanni (1901–31), who promoted direct actions such as bank robberies and bombing state buildings. After being arrested, Di Giovanni was executed. These libertarian experiences with armed struggle accompanied the formation of the working class and the trade union movement in Argentina. Years later, in 1946, elections made Perón's Partido Justicialista (Justicialist Party) the governing party. Peronism, an ideology embodied by the populist nationalist class alliance led by Juan Domingo Perón ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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