Rubén Alonso Rosales

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Rubén Alonso Rosales (born 1925) was one of a six-man junta government that took control of El Salvador by peaceful coup in 1960.

Born in the tiny village of Paraiso De Osorio, La Paz department, El Salvador, to Vicente and Maria Soriano Rosales as the third child of seven. Despite his father's effort to have his male children help in the farm, his mother, a school teacher, insisted that all their children obtain an education and made all efforts to ensure that they obtained at least a high school education, having to send all children to a larger town, Cojutepeque, to achieve that. Showing interest to enter the military at the age of fifteen, his parents worked hard to enroll him into the country's military academy, despite being of little means.

On February 2, 1941, he joined the academy, as one of 124 new recruits. However, by July, his parents could no longer afford his tuition but his stay at the academy was assured when he received one of the two scholarships that were being granted to the new recruits. Also, during his first year at the academy he was befriended by Colonel Óscar Osorio, who was the sub-director of the academy and would later be a member of the Revolutionary Council governing the country (1948–1950) and eventually President of the Republic (1950–1956).

On April 2, 1944, while on military leave working the family farm, a rebellion to overthrow President Maximiliano Hernández Martínez broke out, he reported to the Cojutepeque garrison for duty and was one of two cadets from the entire academy who saw military action against the rebellion.

Later that year, he was introduced to a cadet recruit's sister, Maria Garay, daughter of Colonel Eduardo Garay, who would become his wife three years later. They would have four children.

On July 1945, he along with twelve others from the original 124, graduated as commissioned officers. He was assigned to the artillery regiment, known as El Zapote, (now a military museum) in the nation's capital, across from the Presidential House.

On December 14, 1948, being the commander on duty at the strategic location across the Presidential house for that day, he was enlisted to participate in a rebellion to overthrow President Salvador Castaneda Castro. The rebellion proved successful and brought an old friend, Coronel Óscar Osorio, into a governing position in the country.

From February, 1950 to February, 1953, he was one of two Salvadorean officers to receive a scholarship from the Mexican government to attend the Escuela Superior de Guerra in Mexico City. Upon his return to El Salvador, he served in the Military Academy but eventually returned to El Zapote as the third in command. By this time, the artillery regiment had become the most elite of the armed forces in the nation.

In 1957–1958, as a delegate of the Armed Forces, he joined the entourage of President José María Lemus in many of his official trips throughout Latin America.

In 1958, he was promoted to second in command of El Zapote. Major Arturo Armando Molina, who later became President of the Republic (1972–1977) was his replacement as third in command.

In 1960, in large part due to the strategic position of the elite regiment across the Presidential House, he was enlisted to play a part in the overthrow of President José María Lemus. Coronel Óscar Osorio was instrumental in the planning of the overthrow. Upon the successful overthrow, Major Rosales was named one of the six-man government that took control of the country. The junta ruled from October 26, 1960 to January 25, 1961, when it was subsequently overthrown by another coup and replaced by the Directorio Civico-Militar.

Sent into exile, Rubén Alonso Rosales, ended in Mexico, where he had befriended many military officers from the Mexican Army a decade earlier, who assisted him for a few months. Returning to El Salvador at the end of 1961, he was allowed to stay in the country, but the government in power, suspecting that he was fomenting a rebellion, strongly recommended that he leave the country for his own safety. The Salvadorian government arranged for his immigration to the United States in September, 1962.

Settling in Los Angeles area, he worked for a furniture moving company until 1985, when he retired.

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