Francisco Morales Bermúdez

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Francisco Morales Bermúdez
Morales Bermúdez in 1975
51st President of Peru
2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces
In office
August 29, 1975 – July 28, 1980
Prime Minister
Preceded byJuan Velasco Alvarado
Succeeded byFernando Belaúnde
(as constitutional president, military government collapse)
Prime Minister of Peru
In office
February 1, 1975 – August 29, 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of War
In office
February 1, 1975 – August 29, 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
General Commander of the Peruvian Army
In office
February 1, 1975 – August 29, 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of Economy and Finance
In office
June 13, 1969 – January 2, 1974
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byÁngel Valdivia Morriberon (Minister of Finance and Commerce)
Succeeded byGuillermo Marcó del Pont
Minister of Finance and Commerce
In office
March 20, 1968 – May 21, 1968
PresidentFernando Belaúnde
Preceded byRaúl Ferrero Rebagliati
Succeeded byManuel Ulloa Elías
Personal details
Francisco Regimio Morales Bermúdez Cerruti

(1921-10-04)October 4, 1921
Lima, Peru
DiedJuly 14, 2022(2022-07-14) (aged 100)
Miraflores, Lima, Peru
  • Rosa Pedraglio
    (m. 1942; died 1998)
  • Alicia Saffer Michaelsen
    (m. 1999)
RelativesRemigio Morales Bermúdez (grandfather)
ProfessionArmy general
Military service
Allegiance Peru
Branch/service Peruvian Army
Years of service1941–1980

Francisco Remigio Morales Bermúdez Cerruti (October 4, 1921 – July 14, 2022) was a Peruvian politician and general who was the de facto[1] President of Peru (2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces) between 1975 and 1980, after deposing his predecessor, General Juan Velasco.[2][3] His grandfather and all his original family were from the old Peruvian department of Tarapacá, which is now part of Chile. Unable to control the political and economic troubles that the nation faced, he was forced to return power to civilian rule, marking the end of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces installed by a coup d'état in 1968.

Early years[edit]

Morales Bermúdez was born in Lima on October 4, 1921.[4] He was the son of Army Colonel Remigio Morales Bermúdez and grandson of ex-President Remigio Morales Bermúdez. He received most of his education at Lima's Colegio de la Inmaculada. In 1939, he was accepted into the Escuela Militar de Chorrillos (Chorrillos Military School). After his graduation, he was an important member of the Centro de Altos Estudios Militares (Center for Advanced Military Studies).[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Morales Bermúdez achieved the rank of brigadier general and was appointed to his first political post in 1968 as Minister of Economy and Finance in the administration of Fernando Belaúnde.[5] Internal problems in government forced him to resign after two months.

In 1968, after Belaúnde had been deposed by a coup, the military government led by General Juan Velasco asked him to return to the post of Minister of Economy and Finance. In 1974, he resigned again, this time because he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Peruvian Army. In 1975, he was appointed to be both Velasco's prime minister and minister of war.[citation needed]

Presidency (1975–1980)[edit]

With President Velasco's health deteriorating, Morales Bermúdez led a military coup against Velasco and took over as President of Peru on 29 August 1975, leading the country through one of its most severe economic crises. He diverged from the revolutionary nationalist-leaning tendencies of the first phase (1968–1975) of the Peruvian Revolution. His regime participated in Operation Condor, with Peruvian forces collaborating with the Intelligence Battalion 601 in the kidnapping of Argentines in Lima in 1980.[6] Around the end of Morales Bermúdez's tenure, a housing crisis emerged which started the Lost Decade.[7] Morales Bermúdez, politically pressured from all sides, failed in enacting successful political and economic reform.

A Constituent Assembly convened by the Morales Bermudez administration was created in 1978, which replaced the 1933 Constitution enacted during Óscar R. Benavides's presidency. After elections were held in 1980, he returned power over to the first democratically elected government after 12 years of military rule, headed by President Fernando Belaúnde.[citation needed]

Post-presidency (1980–2022)[edit]

After leaving office, Morales Bermúdez kept a relatively low profile in Peruvian politics, making sporadic speeches regarding the situation of the Peruvian army.[citation needed]

In 1985, he made an unsuccessful run for the presidency, obtaining a fraction of one percent of the vote.[citation needed]

Morales Bermúdez in October 2016, aged 95

Morales Bermúdez was prosecuted by Italian judge Luisianna Figliolia for the forced disappearance of 25 Italian citizens in Peru during Operation Condor, a campaign backed by the United States government of political repression orchestrated by right-wing South American dictatorships during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.[8] On January 17, 2017, the Corte d'Assise in Rome found Morales Bermúdez guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment in absentia.[9][10][11]

On June 16, 2021, Morales Bermúdez was among 63 former Peruvian military officials who signed a letter calling on the Peruvian armed forces to "...according to what is established in Article 46 of the our Constitution, the Armed Forces would have the right to non-obedience and therefore to disavow as President and Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and National Police a person who has been appointed by violating the Constitution and Laws of our country, being able to appeal to the Congress of the Republic to provide a democratic solution in accordance with the Law" in response to the election that month of President-elect Pedro Castillo, the target of unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud by his opponent Keiko Fujimori.[12] The Ministry of Defense of Peru promptly issued a release where it clarified that this letter “does not represent the Armed Forces.”[13]

Morales Bermúdez turned 100 on October 4, 2021,[14] and died at a hospital in the Miraflores District of Lima on July 14, 2022.[15][16] From the death of Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Ben Halim on 7 December 2021, until his own death, Morales Bermùdez was the oldest living former state leader.


  1. ^ Cordero, Jaime (29 April 2008). "Italia pide la detención y extradición del ex presidente peruano Morales Bermúdez". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  2. ^ "A short history of Peru". Archived from the original on 12 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Peru". U.S. Department of State.
  4. ^ Georgette Magassy Dorn (1996). "Profile of Francisco Morales Bermúdez". In Barbara A. Tenenbaum (ed.). Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 4. Charles Scribner's Sons [Simon & Schuster and Prentice Hall. p. 116. ISBN 9780684192536.
  5. ^ "Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas – Histórico – Relación de Ministros".
  6. ^ "Wikiwix[archive]".
  7. ^ Echeverría, Javier Iguiñiz (1987). "Perú: Crisis Económica y Democracia". Investigación Económica. 46 (179): 223–253. JSTOR 42813691.
  8. ^ "RPP – Noticias del Perú y el Mundo | Radio | Podcast | RPP Noticias". Archived from the original on 29 December 2007.
  9. ^ "19 condanne e 8 assoluzioni: si chiude il processo Condor". Archived from the original on 4 October 2017.
  10. ^ PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (17 January 2017). "Morales Bermúdez condenado a cadena perpetua por Plan Cóndor | POLITICA". El Comercio Perú.
  11. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (17 February 2017). "Francisco Morales Bermúdez: ¿Por qué Italia condenó al ex dictador peruano? | POLITICA". Peru21. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Serra, Ricardo Sanchez (18 June 2021). "Carta de oficiales en retiro a altos mando militares". Federación de Periodistas del Perú.
  13. ^ PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (18 June 2021). "Ministerio de Defensa y el CCFFAA consideran apócrifa carta de supuestos militares en retiro | ELECCIONES-2021". El Comercio Perú.
  14. ^ "MORALES BERMÚDEZ CONVERSA HOY CON EL DIRECTOR DE "YO AMO A MI EJÉRCITO"" (in Spanish). Extra. 2 October 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Francisco Morales Bermúdez falleció a los 100 años". El Comercio (in Spanish). 15 July 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  16. ^ Briceño, Franklin (15 July 2022). "Peru military leader who oversaw return of democracy dies". Associated Press. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Peru
1 February 1975 – 30 August 1975
Succeeded by
Óscar Vargas Prieto
Preceded by President of Peru (2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces)
29 August 1975 – 28 July 1980
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Gral. Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Commander-in-Chief of the Army
1 February 1975 – 30 August 1975
Succeeded by
Gral. Óscar Vargas Prieto