Velasco Alvarado, Juan Francisco (1910–1977)
Gabriel Cabrera M.
1000 - 1999
agriculture, democracy, education, revolution
Juan Francisco Velasco Alvarado was a Peruvian military leader and politician who led the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces in Peru during its first phase (1968–75). He instituted economic, social, political, and cultural reforms of an anti-oligarchic and anti-imperialistic nature with the aim of democratizing Peruvian society and encouraging modernization. Although this process was interrupted, many of the transformations initiated by Velasco became irreversible and changed the face of the country. Velasco Alvarado was born to a poor working-class family on the Peruvian north coast. In 1929 he moved to Lima, the capital of the republic, and after serving in the army as a foot soldier he acceded to a higher military career, graduating in 1934 at the top of his class. His talent allowed him to become an instructor and professor in several military institutions. Promoted to brigadier general in 1959, he became military attaché for the Peruvian embassy in France in 1962. In 1965 he reached the rank of major general, the highest grade in the Peruvian army. This occurred during the presidency of Fernando Belaunde Terry, who also named Velasco General Commander of the Army and Chief of the Armed Forces Joint Command in January 1968. This made him the second-highest national authority in military affairs after the president. During his military career, Velasco was involved with ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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