Tens of thousands of Argentines followed the flag draped coffin of their dead leader, general Juan Peron, on its journey through the streets of the capital, Buenos Aires on Thursday (4 July).
Tens of thousands of Argentines followed the flag draped coffin of their dead leader, general Juan Peron, on its journey through the streets of the capital, Buenos Aires on Thursday (4 July). They followed the cortege on its two and a half hour journey from the National Congress to the Presidential villa in the suburb of Olivos.
In the Congress building, where Paron's body has lain in state in an open coffin since Tuesday morning, 12 leading politicians made farewell speeches. The speakers included one from the opposition, Radical Party leader Dr. Ricardo Balbin, who in 1951 was jailed for seven months by the then President Peron.
On Thursday Dr. Balbin described himself as "an old adversary saying farewell to a friend."
During the procession soldiers with machine guns trotted along with the cortege and troops with fixed bayonets kept back the crowds.
The body of General Peron was taken to the chapel of the Presidential villa where a simple funeral service was held. The body was not buried. It will be embalmed and it's probable resting place will be the "Altar of the ???atherland", a pantheon which the Peronist Government had already decided to build to house the remains of Argentina's most prominent citizens, including General Peron's second wife, the legendary Evita, who died in 1952.
After the funeral procession the country started to get back to normal again after three days of official mourning since General Peron's death from a heart attack on Monday (July 1).
SYNOPSIS: Troops and mourners wait outside the Argentine National congress building in Buenos Aires on Thursday for the funeral procession of their dead leader General Juan Perond. The body was carried thought the streets of the capital on a gun carriage to the chapel of the Presidential villa in the suburb of Olivos.
Among the mourners - the new Argentine head of state, General Peron's widow, Presidential Maria Peron.
The lying in state lasted two days.
Provisional President of the Senate, Jose Antonio Allende, was one of twelve national leaders who delivered eulogies in Congress. Mourners heard opposition Radical Party leader Dr. Ricardo Balbin describe himself as an old adversary saying goodbye to a friend.
Argentina has been in mourning since General Peron's death from a heart attack on Monday.
In light winter rain the heavily guarded cortege made its way slowly along its ten mile route. General Peron's widow rode behind in a state limousine.
Tens of thousands of Peron's People followed on foot after the solemn procession.
General Peron's final resting place will probably be the "Altar of the Fatherland" - a pantheon planned for the remains of Argentina's most honourd dead. They will include Peron's second wife-the legendary Evita.
The public mourning of the procession was followed by a simple funeral service. Soon after the procession reached its destination a 21 gun salute signalled the end of three days of official mourning. And Argentina began to return to normal again.