Summary of Sucedió en el Perú - Juan Velasco Alvarado - 17/10/2016

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Juan Velasco Alvarado was a reformist leader who implemented a series of changes in Peru during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was eventually overthrown by a military coup, but his legacy continues to be debated today.

  • 00:00:00 In the 1960s, Peru experienced a period of political and economic reform, which was unfortunately short-lived. After winning elections in 1963, Fernando Belaunde Terry promised to improve the lives of the average Peruvian citizen, including implementing a agricultural reform and resolving the oil problem. However, his government was later overthrown by a military coup in 1968, and his reformist ideas were replaced by a more conservative stance. This led to various grievances among the population, including the perception that the military was not doing enough to protect the country's natural resources. This culminated in a scandal involving PetroPeru, a government-owned oil company, in the pages of La República newspaper in 1971. The company's president, a man named Lauret de Mola, claimed that a page from one of its contracts with the International Petroleum Company (IPC) had been lost, and that this page contained important pricing information. De Mola's allegations sparked public outrage, and eventually led to the military taking control of the government.
  • 00:05:00 On October 17, 2016, Juan Velasco Alvarado, a reformist who worked to improve Peru's economy through the Cairo Central Military School, was appointed head of the country's military junta. The junta, which aimed to improve agricultural distribution and avoid peasant uprisings, was supported by the military because of their belief in reform. Velasco, a Piura native, was one of the most highly-promoted officers in the army, and after the coup he became the president of Peru. He ruled with an authoritarian hand, and many of the key leaders of the coup were military officers who had participated in the repression and defeat of leftist guerrillas. Many of the civilian members of the previous government, who had been involved in the repression and the defeat of leftist guerrillas, were among the members of the new junta. Velasco, who had graduated from the military school first in his class, served as a teacher and school superintendent before being appointed head of the army's Training and Doctrine Command in 1965. He reached the rank of general in 1968 and was appointed head of the country's military command, the highest rank in the Peruvian military. On October 3, 1968, Fernando Belaunde Terry, the democratically
  • 00:10:00 During the 1968-1975 Peruvian Revolution, Juan Velasco Alvarado led the government's military forces. In this time, rapid and dramatic reforms were enacted that shook the country. Among these changes was the creation of the Corporation for Agricultural Reform, which expropriated private property and brought in the International Petroleum Company (IPC). On October 17th, 1968, just six days after the military takeover, the Talara Mine was expropriated. This event was symbolic of the government's commitment to national dignity and served as a rallying cry for the upcoming elections. The military government later used the pretext of "page 11" of the Cuban Revolution to justify its coup against the democratically elected government of Hayao Pezet. Not only did they undo many of the reforms that had been enacted in the previous year, but they also created Petroperú, one of the many businesses that would characterize the regime. The agricultural reform was not the only change implemented during this time; industries such as flour and fish processing were also statized.
  • 00:15:00 In 1970, Peru's General Juan Velasco Alvarado enacted a series of reforms designed to transition the country from a feudal, agricultural society to a more industrialized one. The most important of these reforms was the industrialization of the country, which was promoted through the creation of worker's cooperatives. However, this transition was fraught with difficulty, and the government of General Velasco Alvarado was eventually overthrown. The video discusses the importance of the General's reforms, and how they continue to be debated today.
  • 00:20:00 The president of Peru attempted to make a land reform but ran into various obstacles, including the congress and the end result was a rather timid reform. The goal of the reformists was to end the disparities in landownership distribution, for example, the famous latifundios. The reform also ended peasant servitude and the latifundio system on the coast. It was very radical even for young, progressive socialists at the time. I never expected U.S. military officials to take over, but that's exactly what happened. The reform was very significant and awoke criticism and sympathy, seen from a distance. It could be said that it is not true that all the large estates existed at the time, as some were like before, with no possibility of land reform happening. Nevertheless, there were other estates that had undergone modernization and therefore some could say that the reform was more selective. The campesinado, what they wanted, was an economy based on parcelization, with each one having their own economy based on family units. Velasco, though not convinced, thought it would lead to individual land distribution, which would lead to a decrease in productivity. The reform failed to achieve its full potential for a number of reasons, including the lack of modern technology
  • 00:25:00 In this video, Juan Velasco Alvarado, a Peruvian economist and political theorist, talks about the fall of the socialist government in Peru in the 1970s and the rise of the private property-based capitalist government. He argues that the people of Peru believe in private property because they do not believe in collective ownership. This led to the collapse of the country's agricultural sector, which was previously managed cooperatively. The video also features interviews with artists, communicators, and graphic designers who created the posters and propaganda used during the revolution.
  • 00:30:00 In the 1970s, General Lázaro Cárdenas created the "Sin Ambos Sistema Nacional de Apoyo a la Movilización Social" (SINAMOS), an organization designed to provide military and civilian support for the country's social movements. Among its members were young sociologist Hugo Neira and guerrilla leader Hector Béjar. In 1971, the SINAMOS created the "Comunitaria" to coordinate and mobilize people across the country for political reform. This organization was led by General Leonidas Rodríguez, who had the assistance of civilian experts like Francisco Franco and Carlos Delgado. The SINAMOS was successful in mobilizing the population and played an important role in the country's transition to democracy. However, it was eventually disbanded in the 1980s due to the increasing influence of political parties. Hugo Neira continued to work in the civil sector until his death in 1998.
  • 00:35:00 This video covers the history of educational reform in Peru under President Juan Velasco Alvarado. Velasco supported and controlled peasant and professional movements, creating the Peruvian Central Workers' Revolutionary Union and National Agricultural Confederation. Velasco's government put strong emphasis on education, inviting prominent intellectuals like Augusto Salazar Bondy and Walter Peñalosa to help implement the reform. Velasco's objectives were to extend educational opportunities to all Peruvians and create a new, critical, participatory and cooperative society. However, Velasco had serious conflicts with the transportation system, which prevented the reform from achieving its goals. These conflicts led to the closure of several newspapers, the creation of the Press Law, and Velasco's exile to Argentina. The first media outlet closed by the Velasco regime was "Expreso," which was expropriated because it was the heir to the Belaunde government, which had been overthrown. Manuel Ulloa, the owner of "Expreso," was one of Velasco's strongest opponents and was therefore the first media outlet to be expropriated. It took Ulloa several years to get the government to agree to sell the publication. In 1974, Velasco's
  • 00:40:00 In 1973, Juan Velasco Alvarado took control of Peru's government after the death of Augusto Pinochet. Velasco was a supporter of Chilean singer and songwriter, Victor Jara, and his music influenced Peruvian popular culture. However, Velasco's health began to decline in the mid-1970s, and he died in 1977 after a series of military conflicts and economic crisis.
  • 00:45:00 The video discusses the life and accomplishments of Juan Velasco Alvarado, who served as the 37th Prime Minister of Peru from 17 October 1984 to 17 December 1988. Velasco's government is often credited with bringing about significant changes during the final years of the military dictatorship, including the restoration of democracy and the initiation of important economic reforms. Although Velasco's administration was successful in many ways, it also faced challenges, most notably the Peruvian terror campaign of the early 1990s.

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