By Peter Calvert
Latin the United States has lengthy had a name for violence and unpredictability. during this research, experts in Latin American politics current a brand new view of this very important quarter, its frustrations, setbacks and its interesting possibilities.
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Extra resources for Latin America in the Twentieth Century
With Billinghurst disposed of, the way was open for a second term for the Civilista Jose Pardo (President, 1904--08 and 1915-19). His rival Leguia was then elected to succeed him, but overthrew his predecessor prematurely, alleging that Pardo was plotting to prevent him assuming power. Once in office, with military support, he established a personal dictatorship which was to last until 1930. All radical groups were suppressed and a strict press censorship established. Political opponents went underground or, like Hay a de Ia Torre, were driven into exile.
In Guatemala peasants had before the liberal reforms of the nineteenth century been subject to forced labour for local landowners; now a system of work cards was introduced to punish 'idleness' and ensure a plentiful supply of cheap labour for the landowners. In Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador peasants could keep their freedom at high altitudes where the thin air and the biting cold made all but subsistence farming impracticable, but in the lowlands they were displaced by large estates and everywhere by economic pressures forced them to leave their lands and try to get work in the mines or in the cities.
By 1929 50 years had elapsed since the War of the Pacific, in which Peru had lost three provinces to Chile, and Leguia had become so confident that he agreed to sign a Treaty, the Treaty of Anc6n, recovering Tacna for Peru, but yielding Arica and Tarapaca to Chile and guaranteeing in effect the permanent exclusion of Bolivia from its former coastal province. Younger officers were dissatisfied, and the impact of the Great Depression spurred them to action. The new coup was led by a young cholo (mestizo) colonel, Luis Sanchez Cerro, who had sprung to prominence in the 1914 coup, when as a mere sergeant, his forces stalled at the palace gates, he flung a bomb at them, rushed through, and, though wounded in the attack, secured the victory.