Issue #24 in 2019 year, 139-160

«AUTOGOLPE» IN URUGUAY IN 1973 AND THE DESTINY OF THE RIGHT-WING AUTHORITARIAN REGIME OF J.M. BORDABERRY DOI: 10.32608/2305-8773-2019-24-1-139-160

N. Ivanov

Facing the acute economic and political crisis in the end of 60s – beginning of 70s, the ruling liberal party «Colorado» made the turn to the right and presidents J.P. Areco and J.M. Bordaberry responded to the growing mass protests by introducing restrictions on traditional civil liberties, which found support among the military. The democratic rights of citizens were curtailed, and the powers of the police and the army were constantly expanding. In July 1972, the government enacted the State Security Act. Unprecedented pressure began on the left and democratic movements, united since 1971 around a coalition called the Broad Front. However, all measures of the government did not soften the crisis. Moreover, huge corruption scandals shocked the society. In June 1973, with the support of the armed forces, Bordaberry dissolved Parliament and gave the armed forces the broadest powers to carry out any action «to maintain public order». This was regarded by contemporaries as the «autogolpe» («self-coup»), which meant the introduction of military dictatorship. In June 1976, Bordaberry was forced to resign because he became a greater advocate of dictatorship than even the military officers, offering the proposal to create a regime of permanent dictatorship led by him as «President for life». The military dictatorship ruled in the country in 1973-1985, creating a powerful repressive apparatus, actively participating in the elimination of the leaders of the left and democratic parties within the notorious «Operation Condor» under the guidance of the CIA. According to «Amnesty International», Uruguay had more political prisoners per capita during the military dictatorship than any other country in the world.

Keywords:
Military dictatorship, junta, Latin America, Uruguay, J.M. Bordaberry, «autogolpe»
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