Leopold Fortunato Galtieri

(1926—2003) Argentinian general and statesman, President 1981–2.

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(b. 15 July 1926, d. 12 Jan 2003).

Argentinian general and dictator 1980–2, President 1982The Commander-in-Chief of the army, he took part in the coup which re-established the military dictatorship in 1976. He became President in a period of economic crisis when inflation exceeded 100 per cent per annum, industry produced at half of its capacity, and real income was less than it had been ten years before. He chose to revive the army's fortune by sending his forces to occupy the Falkland Islands, which subsequently led to the Falklands War. Its disastrous outcome in 1982 and his subsequent resignation inaugurated a period of democratic rule for his country, and twelve years' imprisonment for himself starting in 1986, though he was later pardoned. In 1997, he was indicted for human rights violations against Spanish civilians by a Spanish judge, but Argentina refused to extradite him to stand trial.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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