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Óscar R. Benavides

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Óscar Raymundo Benavides Larrea
67th President of Peru
In office
February 4, 1914 – August 18, 1915
Preceded byGuillermo Billinghurst
Succeeded byJosé Pardo y Barreda
76th President of Peru
In office
April 30, 1933 – December 8, 1939
Preceded byLuis Miguel Sánchez Cerro
Succeeded byManuel Prado y Ugarteche
Personal details
BornMarch 15, 1876
DiedJuly 2, 1945 (aged 69)
Lima, Peru
Spouse(s)Francisca Benavides Diez Canseco

Óscar Raymundo Benavides Larrea (March 15, 1876 – July 2, 1945), prominent Peruvian field marshal, diplomat and politician, and was the President of Peru from 1914 to 1915 and from 1933 to 1939.

Second presidential term

On August 22, 1930, Lieutenant Colonel Luis M. Sánchez Cerro started a revolution in Arequipa, and Leguía resigned from the Presidency. Sánchez Cerro was invested with the rank of Provisional President. On October 3, Benavides was appointed to the post of Extraordinary Emissary and Plenipotentiary Minister in Spain and, in February 1932, in England. The Government recalled Benavides and appointed him General-in-Chief of the Council of National Defense (March 27, 1932), in charge of the Peruvian forces in view of a renewed armed conflict with Colombia. On March 31, he was promoted to the rank of Division General.

Sánchez Cerro was assassinated on April 30, 1933. To restrain ensuing turmoil, the Constituent Assembly proclaimed Benavides Constitutional President of the Republic for the completion of the period initiated by Sánchez Cerro. Benavides signed the new Peruvian Constitution, which replaced that of 1920 (which had been in effect since the administration of Augusto B. Leguía). The 1933 Constitution lasted until 1979.

The primary concerns of the new Government were: to resolve the conflict with Colombia (peace was negotiated in May 1934); and to assuage internal political agitation (Tauro, vol 1, p. 266; Orrego, p. 894) for which purpose, Benavides outlawed the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA), arguing that it was an international party, prohibited by the Peruvian Constitution, and repressed theCommunist Party for the same reason. Benavides called presidential elections in 1936; but the results were annulled as they favored the investment of Luis Antonio Eguiguren who, according to the Government, had the vote of the APRA.

Benavides obtained the extension of his mandate for three more years, during which he governed under the motto “Order, Peace, and Work.” He strengthened the Armed Forces and purchased modern armaments. The Navy Dock and Ship Dry Dock of Callao were built; the Pan-American Highway was completed from Ecuador to Chile along the Peruvian coast, as was the Central Highway crossing theAndes east from Lima to the Amazonian Forest, as far as Tingo María. Road and bridge tolls were abolished, thus implementing freedom of the highways (Orrego, p. 895).

The Government built living quarters and dining halls for workers and their families, and instituted Workers’ Social Security, and a new Civil Code. Tourism was encouraged and Tourist Hotels were planned for Peru’s principal cities. The National Census was planned and organized, but was only effected in 1940, by the following Government. During Benavides' term in office, the second phase of remodeling the Government Palace of Peru was initiated, as well as the Palacio de Justicia ("Palace of Justice") (Orrego, p. 895).

On December 8, 1939, Benavides handed over the presidential mandate to Manuel Prado y Ugarteche, the winner of the General Elections of that year. On December 19, Prado honored Benavides with the title of Field Marshal.

[edit]Foundation of the National Democratic Front

Benavides served as Peruvian Ambassador in Madrid (1940), and in Buenos Aires (1941–1944). He returned to Peru on July 17, 1944, and was among the founders of the Frente Democrático Nacional (FDN) (National Democratic Front). Benavides died in Lima on July 2, 1945, after the confirmation of the triumph of the FDN Presidential Candidate, José Luis Bustamante y Rivero (Tauro, p. 286).


  • El Mariscal Benavides, su vida y su obra. 1976, 1981. Lima, Editorial Atlántida, 2 volumes.
  • Basadre, Jorge. 1963. Historia de la República del Perú, Fifth Edition, Volume VIII. Lima, Ediciones Historia.
  • Orrego, Juan Luis. 2000. La República oligárquica (1850–1950). In Historia del Perú, Lima, Lexus.
  • Tauro (del Pino), Alberto. 1988. Enciclopedia ilustrada del Perú. Lima, Peisa.
Political offices
Preceded by
Guillermo Billinghurst
Interim President of Peru
Succeeded by
José Pardo y Barreda
Preceded by
Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro
President of Peru
Succeeded by
Manuel Prado y Ugarteche

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