A quarter of million people crowded into Lima's main square on Saturday (October 3rd) to celebrate the second anniversary of the bloodless coup d'etat that put President Juan Velasco's military regime into power.
A quarter of million people crowded into Lima's main square on Saturday (October 3rd) to celebrate the second anniversary of the bloodless coup d'etat that put President Juan Velasco's military regime into power. President Velasco used the occasion to remind the crowd of his industrial and agricultural reforms.
The crowds spent up to seven hours travelling to Lime to pack themselves into the 400-year-old Plaza de Armas. They were in a festive mood for the occasion, which marks the overthrow of President Fernando Belaunde.
Trucks equipped with loudspeakers spent several days touring round the country while announcers broadcast details of the meeting. On the big day, delegations of workers and peasants grouped at six meeting sites and marched into the Plaza, which holds the Presidential building, the Town Hall, the Archbishop's Palace and the Cathedral.
Civil and military brass bands added to the carnival atmosphere, and fireworks were exploded throughout the evening.
President Velasco and his military cabinet sat on a high rostrum decorated with the red and white Peruvian colours. A giant picture of Tupac Amaru II, a revolutionary hero in the 18th century, formed a backdrop to the Presidential rostrum.
In a speech to the cheering masses, the President reviewed reforms made by his regime. He reminded the crowds of the expropriation of an american-owned Petroleum Company; of agricultural reforms when large sugar haciendas were expropriated; and recent Industrial Law which gave workers a share of equity in industrial firms and representation on the boards.