Francisco Morales-Bermúdez

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Francisco Morales-Bermúdez
F. Morales Bermúdez.jpg
President of Peru
In office
29 August 1975 – 28 July 1980
Prime MinisterOscar Vargas Prieto
Jorge Fernández Maldonado
Guillermo Arbulú Galliani
Óscar Molina Pallochia
Pedro Richter Prada
Preceded byJuan Velasco Alvarado
Succeeded byFernando Belaúnde
(as Constitutional President, military government collapse)
Prime Minister of Peru
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of War
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
General Commander of the Peruvian Army
In office
1 February 1975 – 29 August 1975
PresidentJuan Velasco Alvarado
Preceded byLuis Edgardo Mercado Jarrín
Succeeded byOscar Vargas Prieto
Minister of Economy and Finance
In office
13 June 1969 – 2 January 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
20 March 1968 – 21 May 1968
PresidentFernando Belaúnde
Preceded byRaúl Ferrero Rebagliati
Succeeded byManuel Ulloa Elías
Personal details
Francisco Regimio Morales-Bermúdez Cerruti

(1921-10-04) 4 October 1921 (age 100)
Lima, Peru
  • Rosa Pedraglio
    (m. 1942; died 1998)
  • Alicia Saffer Michaelsen
    (m. 1999)
ProfessionArmy General
Military service
Allegiance Peru
Branch/service Peruvian Army
Years of service1941–1980

Francisco Remigio Morales-Bermúdez Cerruti (born 4 October 1921)[1] is a Peruvian politician and general who was the de facto[2] President of Peru (2nd President of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces) between 1975 and 1980, after deposing his predecessor, General Juan Velasco.[3][4] 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'etat on 3 October 1968.

Early years[edit]

Born in Lima in 1921, he is 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 Inmaculada. In 1939, he was accepted to the Escuela Militar de Chorrillos (Chorrillos Military School). After his graduation, he was an important member of the Centro de Altos Estudios Militares (CAEM).

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 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 prime minister and minister of war.


With Velasco's health deteriorating, Morales Bermúdez led a military coup against General 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 socialist-leaning tendencies of first phase (1968–1975) of the Peruvian Revolution.

His regime participated in Operation Condor, the Peruvian services 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]


The failure of his political and economic reforms was a blow to his administration, hampered by constant political pressure from all sides. A Constitutional Assembly was created in 1978, which replaced the 1933 Constitution enacted during Óscar R. Benavides's presidency; he also called for national elections the next year.

After the 1980 National Elections, he turned power over to a legally established government, headed by President Fernando Belaúnde.

After his presidency, he kept a relatively low profile in Peruvian politics, making sporadic speeches regarding the situation of the army.

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

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 the context of Operation Condor, a campaign run by the United States government of political oppression against the non-reactionary elements of the Catholic Church and independent nationalists orchestrated by the right-wing dictatorships of South America in the 1970s.[8] On 17 January 2017, the Corte d'Assise in Rome found Morales Bermúdez guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.[9][10][11]

On 6 June 2021, Morales Bermúdez was among 63 former Peruvian military officials calling on the armed forces to "Otherwise, according to what is established in Article 46 of the Peruvian Constitution, the Armed Forces would have the right to non-obedience and therefore to ignore a person as President and Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and National Police what has been appointed 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".[12][13] The Ministry of Defense of Peru issued a release where it clarifies that these expressions “do not represent the Armed Forces.”[14]

Morales Bermúdez turned 100 on 4 October 2021.[15] Morales Bermúdez is also the oldest living former world leader.[16]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "A short history of Peru". Archived from the original on December 12, 2007.
  4. ^ "Peru". U.S. Department of State.
  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 December 29, 2007.
  9. ^ "19 condanne e 8 assoluzioni: si chiude il processo Condor". Archived from the original on October 4, 2017.
  10. ^ PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (January 17, 2017). "Morales Bermúdez condenado a cadena perpetua por Plan Cóndor | POLITICA". El Comercio Perú.
  11. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (February 17, 2017). "Francisco Morales Bermúdez: ¿Por qué Italia condenó al ex dictador peruano? | POLITICA". Peru21. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019.
  12. ^ PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (June 18, 2021). "Ministerio de Defensa y el CCFFAA consideran apócrifa carta de supuestos militares en retiro | ELECCIONES-2021". El Comercio Perú.
  13. ^ Serra, Ricardo Sanchez (June 18, 2021). "Carta de oficiales en retiro a altos mando militares". Federación de Periodistas del Perú.
  14. ^ "Tension increases in Peru between calls from ex-military and persecution campaigns against the left". Market Research Telecast. 2021-06-15. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  15. ^ "MORALES BERMÚDEZ CONVERSA HOY CON EL DIRECTOR DE "YO AMO A MI EJÉRCITO"" (in Spanish). Extra. 2 October 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Morales Bermúdez: «Castillo debe dar un paso al costado»" (in Spanish). 6 March 2022. Retrieved 23 June 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