One of the few Latin American politicians who attempted to lead his country onto a path of socialist reform has died.
One of the few Latin American politicians who attempted to lead his country onto a path of socialist reform has died. Juan Vela??? Alvarado was President of Peru from 1968 until he was ousted from power in 1975. During this time he steered his country's 16 million people on a left-wing nationalist course -- and to the end retained his popularity among Peru's impoverished masses.
SYNOPSIS: General Velasco was 67 when he died on Saturday (24 December) Huge crowds of shanty town dwellers swarmed into Lima on Christmas Day (25 December) to pay their last respects at his lying-in-state in the city's cathedral. Many brought wreaths as a tribute to the man who made an effort to better their living conditions.
Although a day of national mourning was declared, the present military government headed by General Francisco Morales Bermudez played down the ceremony and normal pop music programmes were resumed on radio and television after General Velasco's funeral.
But popular feelings prevailed -- many people ??? as they filed past the open ??? and during the funeral on Monday (26 December) there were scattered incidents as Velas??? supporters tried to demonstrate against Peru's present rulers.
Members of the military junta and the cabinet headed General Velasco's funeral procession, but President Morales did not attend. His absence was seen as a reflection of the present government's ambiguous attitude towards the late President, who was deposed by President Morales. Since then reforms have been slowed done, although a return to democratic rule is promised for 1980.