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Operation Corporate   >   Commanders   >   Leopoldo Galtieri

   
 

Leopoldo Galtieri


Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli (July 15th, 1926 to January 12th, 2003) was de facto President of Argentina from December 22nd, 1981 to June 18th, 1982, having risen to position as a result of a coup, ousting interim President Robert Viola.

In April 1982, Galtieri ordered the invasion of the lightly defended British Falkland Islands ("Operación Azul"). After the islands were captured, he then declared the islands, known to the Argentines as the Malvinas, a province of Argentina.

For a brief period, Galtieri became wildly popular in Argentina, the capture (or recapture in the Argentine view) of the islands having long been an objective of Argentine nationalists. However, Galtieri miscalculated, not expecting the British would contest the matter, let alone dispatch a naval task force.

The Argentine forces on the islands surrendered on June 14th, and four days later, Galtieri fell from power. After years of military dictatorship, democracy was then gradually restored to Argentina.

Galtieri was cleared of charges relating to civil rights violations in 1985, but in 1986, was tried and convicted of mishandling the war, and stripped of his rank. He served five years in prison, before being pardoned in 1991. Further civil rights charges were brought against Galtieri in 2002, he was placed under house arrest, but died from pancreatic cancer in 2003, before he could be brought to trial.


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