Militarism and Politics in Latin America: Peru from Sanchez Cerro to Sendero Luminoso

Militarism and Politics in Latin America: Peru from Sanchez Cerro to Sendero Luminoso

Militarism and Politics in Latin America: Peru from Sanchez Cerro to Sendero Luminoso

Militarism and Politics in Latin America: Peru from Sanchez Cerro to Sendero Luminoso

Synopsis

This is the only comprehensive case study in English of the highly complex Peruvian military and its place in Peruvian society. Covering the early 1930s to present, it is based on extensive Latin American and U.S. archival sources and personal interviews. Emphasis is placed on the impact of French and U.S. military theory; revolutionary politics up to and including Sendero Luminoso; the rationale behind General Alvarado's reforms (1968-75); Velasco's legacy; and an examination of the Soviet Union's involvement in Peru. For students and scholars of contemporary Latin America.

Excerpt

Few Latin American institutions are more controversial, emotion provoking, and less well understood than the region's armed forces establishments. Beginning with the pioneering work of Edwin Lieuwen and John J. Johnson in the early 1960s, scholars have been examining the role of the military in modern Latin American societies. Still, much work is left to be done. While reviewing the state of the literature on Latin American militarism in 1976, Abraham F. Lowenthal appealed for more empirical case studies to further our understanding of the complexities of Latin America's armed institutions. Lowenthal singled out the uniquely reformist military government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975) in Peru as particularly worthy of greater attention. Considered the model of military progressivism in modern Latin America, the Velasco regime has subsequently attracted considerable scholarly inquiry. Yet, aside from the groundbreaking work of Víctor Villanueva Valencia in Spanish, no systematic studies using archival sources in Peru and other nations to trace the historical roots ofVelasco "Revolution from Above" has yet been published. This study seeks to meet this need while encouraging further necessary research on the Peruvian military and the armed forces of the other Latin American nations.

This book is primarily an analysis of the Peruvian armed forces in the context of national politics from the revolution of Lieutenant Colonel Luis M. Sánchez Cerro in 1930 through the first administration of President Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1963-1968). I have concluded this study, however, with an overview of the Velasco regime and the ensuing fifteen years of political and economic turmoil in Peru in the hope of providing a clearer framework for this analysis. My conclusions regarding the . . .

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