Jordán Bruno Genta
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|Jordán Bruno Genta|
In his youth, Genta actively campaigned against several attempts at education reform, fearing that the changes would dilute the influence of Catholic teachings. After the coup d'etat of 4 June 1943, Genta was appointed to head the Universidad del Litoral, and gained notoriety as a defender of reactionary ideas, to the point that the popular FORJA movement and its leader Arturo Jauretche publicly condemned Genta's positions.
When Perón was removed from power in 1955, the armed forces were under the influence of liberal ideas as represented by Pedro Eugenio Aramburu and the Alsogaray family. Some conservative circles saw Aramburu's deposing of Eduardo Lonardi as a coup against traditional Catholic values, which led to the establishment a series of right-wing movements, the most notorious of those being Alianza Libertadora Nacionalista ("Nationalist Liberation Alliance").
In 1958, another education-related fight galvanized the conservative Catholics, and new groups started forming. Most of them saw Genta as their ideological referent, and sought his advice and endorsement. Genta approved of their actions, even those that involved desecration of Jewish cemeteries or physical attacks on Jewish students.
As the 1960s brought left-wing guerrilla activity to Argentina, Genta was recognized as one of the ideologues behind ever-more violent far right groups such as Tacuara. Ironically, some of Tacuara's young recruits would later form the core of the (allegedly left-wing Peronist) Montoneros movement.
The armed struggle degenerated into the so-called dirty war, which claimed thousands of lives and cast a heavy shadow over Argentine politics well into the 21st century. Genta himself would be the victim of such violence: on October 27, 1974, a People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) guerrilla shot Genta eleven times as he was leaving his home. Genta died immediately. The gunner left the scene in a getaway car followed by two back-up vehicles. Genta was survived by his wife, two children and two grandchildren.
For many years, far right activists would congregate at Genta's grave and shout slogans such as Viva la muerte! (Long live death), inspired by Franco's General Millán Astray, commander of the Spanish Legion.
Genta's ideas were not confined to the fringes, as they influenced some sections of the military de facto governments, especially the National Reorganization Process (1976–1983). His staunch anti-communism and his contacts in the armed forces gained him some consideration from United States anti-communist operatives.