Latin American Dictators of the 20th Century

The Lives and Regimes of 15 Rulers

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About the Book

Throughout the 20th century, the emergence of authoritarian dictatorships in Latin America coincided with periods of social convulsion and economic uncertainty. This book covers 15 dictators representing every decade of the century and geographically from the Caribbean and North and Central and South America. Each chapter covers their personal information (childhood, education, marriage, family…), assumption of power, relationship with the United States, oppression of civilians, and collapse of their regimes.
The book also investigates inherent contradictions in U.S. foreign policy: promoting democracy abroad while supporting brutal dictatorships in Latin America. Such analysis requires multiple perspectives and this work embraces an evaluation of the influence of military dictatorships on cultural elements such as art, literature, journalism, music and cinema, while drawing on data from documentary archives, court case files, investigative reports, international treaties, witness testimonies, and personal letters from survivors. The dramatic experiences of courageous individuals who challenged these 15 oppressors are also recounted.

About the Author(s)

Javier A. Galván is a professor of Spanish and Latin American history at Santa Ana College in Orange County, California. He has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, most of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. He lives in Garden Grove, California.

Bibliographic Details

Javier A. Galván
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 217
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6691-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0016-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 7

 1. Porfirio Díaz, Mexico (1876–1911) 17

 2. Manuel Estrada Cabrera, Guatemala (1898–1920) 30

 3. Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, Brazil (1930–1945) and (1951–1954) 40

 4. Rafael Trujillo, Dominican Republic (1930–1961) 49

 5. Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Venezuela (1952–1958) 62

 6. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, Colombia (1953–1957) 72

 7. Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda, Paraguay (1954–1989) 82

 8. The Duvalier Family, Haiti (1957–1986) 96

 9. The Somoza Dynasty, Nicaragua (1936–1979) 107

10. Hugo Banzer Suárez, Bolivia (1971–1978) and (1997–2001) 119

11. Juan María Bordaberry Arocena, Uruguay (1972–1976) 131

12. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, Chile (1973–1990) 142

13. Jorge Rafael Videla, Argentina (1976–1981) 155

14. Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala (1982–1983) 169

15. Manuel Noriega, Panama (1983–1989) 182

Chapter Notes 195

Bibliography 201

Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

“Chapters cover a century of dictators from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean”—Reference & Research Book News.