Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Election of Isabel Perón

On this day in 1974 Isabel Perón was sworn in as interim President of Argentina during what would be the final illness of her husband, President Juan Perón, who died two days later.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAs Argentina's 42nd President, Perón was the first non-royal female head of state in the Western Hemisphere; what should have been a promising and ground-breaking career lasted less than two years. Alas, despite their various physical similarities, she was no Evita; when she was finally removed from office, in disgrace, Argentina did not cry for her*. Following a bloodless coup in March 1976 she was succeeded by Jorge Videla, whose own dictatorial rule was coyly known as the National Reorganization Process.

After five years of house arrest in Argentina, Perón was exiled to Spain in 1981, where early in 2007 she was arrested on charges that she ordered the disappearance of one of her political foes, Héctor Aldo Fagetti Gallego in 1975. In the intervening years she'd returned to Argentina on occasion, and otherwise lived a low-key life in her adopted homeland.

The extradition hoped for, which would have returned Perón to Argentina to answer to the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons for her alleged crimes, was denied in March 2008.

*Except, perhaps, tears of joy.

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