Francisco Morales-Bermúdez

Francisco Morales-Bermúdez Cerruti (born 4 October 1921)[1] is a Peruvian general who served as the President of Peru (2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces) between 1975 and 1980, after deposing his predecessor, General Juan Velasco.[2][3] His grandfather and all his original family were from the old Peruvian department of Tarapacá, which is now part of Chile. Unable to control the political and economic troubles that the nation faced, he was forced to return power to civilian rule, marking the end of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces installed by a coup d'etat on 3 October 1968. At age 99, he is currently the oldest living former Peruvian president.

Francisco Morales-Bermúdez Cerruti
F. Morales Bermúdez.jpg
President of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Government of Peru
In office
29 August 1975 – 28 July 1980
Prime MinisterOscar Vargas Prieto
Jorge Fernández Maldonado Solari
Guillermo Arbulú Galliani
Óscar Molina Pallochia
Pedro Richter Prada
Preceded byJuan Velasco Alvarado
Succeeded byFernando Belaúnde
(Constitutional President)
Prime Minister of Peru
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of War
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
General Commander of the Peruvian Army
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of Economy and Finance
In office
13 June 1969 – 2 January 1974
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byÁngel Valdivia Morriberon (Minister of Finance and Commerce)
Succeeded byGuillermo Marcó del Pont
Minister of Finance and Commerce
In office
20 March 1968 – 21 May 1968
PresidentFernando Belaúnde
Preceded byRaúl Ferrero Rebagliati
Succeeded byManuel Ulloa Elías
Personal details
Born (1921-10-04) 4 October 1921 (age 99)
Lima, Peru
NationalityPeruvian
Spouse(s)Rosa Pedraglio Oddone (1920–1998)
Alicia Saffer Michaelsen
(m. 1999)
Children4
ProfessionArmy General

Early yearsEdit

Born in Lima in 1921, he is the son of Army Colonel Remigio Morales Bermúdez and grandson of ex-President Remigio Morales Bermúdez. He received most of his education at Lima's Colegio Inmaculada. In 1939, he was accepted to the Escuela Militar de Chorrillos (Chorrillos Military School). After his graduation, he was an important member of the Centro de Altos Estudios Militares (CAEM).

Political careerEdit

Bermúdez achieved the rank of Brigadier General and was appointed to his first political post in 1968 as Minister of Economy and Finance in the administration of Fernando Belaúnde.[4] Internal problems in government forced him to resign after two months.

In 1968, after Belaúnde had been deposed by a coup, the military government led by Velasco asked him to return to the post of Minister of Economy and Finance. In 1974, he resigned again, this time because he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Peruvian Army. In 1975, he was appointed to be both Prime Minister and Minister of War.

PresidencyEdit

With Velasco's health deteriorating, Morales Bermúdez led a military coup against General Velasco and took over as President of Peru on 29 August 1975, leading the country through one of its most severe economic crises. He diverged from the socialist-leaning tendencies of first phase (1968–1975) of the Peruvian Revolution, proclaiming a 'Second Phase' that would lead to a return to democracy.

LegacyEdit

The failure of his political and economic reforms was a severe blow to his administration, hampered by constant political pressure from all sides. A Constitutional Assembly was created in 1978, which replaced the 1933 Constitution enacted during Óscar R. Benavides's presidency; he also called for national elections the next year.

After the 1980 National Elections he turned power over to a legally established government, headed by President Fernando Belaúnde.

After his presidency, he kept a relatively low profile in Peruvian politics, making sporadic speeches regarding the situation of the army.

In 1985, he made an unsuccessful run for the presidency, obtaining a fraction of one percent of the vote.

 
Morales Bermudez in October 2016

Morales Bermudez was prosecuted by Italian judge Luisianna Figliolia for the forced disappearance of 25 Italian citizens in the context of Operation Condor, a campaign run by the United States government of political oppression against the non-reactionary elements of the Catholic Church and independent nationalists orchestrated by the right-wing dictatorships of South America in the 1970s.[5] On 17 January 2017, the Corte d'Assise in Rome found Morales Bermúdez guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.[6][7][8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Georgette Magassy Dorn (1996). "Profile of Francisco Morales Bermúdez". In Barbara A. Tenenbaum (ed.). Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. 4. Charles Scribner's Sons [Simon & Schuster and Prentice Hall. p. 116.
  2. ^ A short history of Peru Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State - Background Note: Peru
  4. ^ "Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas - Histórico - Relación de Ministros". www.mef.gob.pe.
  5. ^ General Morales Bermúdez sorprendido de su inclusión en juicio italiano Archived 2007-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ 19 condanne e 8 assoluzioni: si chiude il processo Condor Archived 2017-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Morales Bermúdez condenado a cadena perpetua por Plan Cóndor
  8. ^ Francisco Morales Bermúdez: ¿Por qué Italia condenó al ex dictador peruano? Archived 2019-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
Political offices
Preceded by
Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Prime Minister of Peru
February 1, 1975 – August 30, 1975
Succeeded by
Óscar Vargas Prieto
Preceded by
Juan Velasco
President of Peru (2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces)
August 1975 – July 1980
Succeeded by
Fernando Belaúnde
Military offices
Preceded by
Gral. Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Commander-in-Chief of the Army
February 1, 1975 – August 30, 1975
Succeeded by
Gral. Óscar Vargas Prieto