Herminio Iglesias

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Herminio Iglesias

Herminio Iglesias (Buenos Aires, October 20, 1929 – February 16, 2007) was an Argentine politician.


The son of Galician immigrants, at the age of 13, Iglesias began to work in a factory, where, at age 21, he was appointed as a union shop steward.

Political career[edit]

Henceforward a supporter of the Peronist Party, Iglesias was elected as the Mayor of Avellaneda in the Province of Buenos Aires upon Juan Domingo Perón's 1973 return from exile and subsequent election to his final turn at the Argentine Presidency. Aligning himself with Perón's most right-wing adviser, José López Rega, during the internal strife that followed Perón's 1974 passing, he was dismissed from this post following the 1976 military coup headed by General Jorge Videla.

Cardboard coffin controversy[edit]

In 1983, Iglesias was the Peronist candidate for Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires. However, at a "victory rally" towards the end of the election campaign, his followers approached him with a cardboard coffin with the inscription "UCR" (representing their main opposition), which he set on fire. This episode was broadcast by national TV channels.[1] For many observers,[2] this act was perceived by public opinion as a recall of the country's recent violent past, and was decisive in the victory of the UCR in the general elections and in his own loss to UCR gubernatorial candidate Alejandro Armendáriz.[3] After this incident, he significantly lost his political prestige while quemar el cajón became political jargon for insensitive faux pas.[4]

Legislative branch[edit]

Between 1985 and 1989, Iglesias occupied a seat in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. In the 1990s, he was a Councillor in the Municipality of Avellaneda. He lived his final years largely in seclusion, partly because of his health problems.


  1. ^ "Murió Herminio, el del cajón" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  2. ^ "El día que Herminio Iglesias quemó el cajón" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  3. ^ "Falleció Herminio Iglesias" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  4. ^ "La quema del cajón radical, el episodio más recordado de Herminio Iglesias" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-09-03.