what happened on June 16, 1955

On June 16, 1955, a tragic event occurred in the surroundings of the May Plaza and the Pink House that constituted the antecedent to the coup d’état carried out against the president Juan Domingo Peron in September of that same year. Just as the national leader gained popular support for his efforts on behalf of the workers, he made enemies in high places. military, political and of economic sector more powerful.

Never before in the history of our country have Military Forces bombed our cities. The Argentine Navy, with the support of the Air Force, ensured that this did not remain the case, attacking its own civilian population, creating one of the most unworthy antecedents in the World history and with a balance of more than 300 dead and 800 injured.

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Illustration that describes the moment of the Bombing of Plaza de Mayo.

What happened on June 16, 1955 in the Plaza de Mayo

That cold Thursday June 16, Planes dropped more than one hundred bombs with a total of between 9 and 14 tons of explosives, on the Plazas de Mayo and Colón. Also, they bombed and shot at the Casa Rosada, with the aim of assassinate President Juan Domingo Perón.

Only 12, of the more than 300 people killed, They were inside the Casa Rosada. The rest were in Plaza de Mayo and surrounding areas, in the streets of downtown Buenos Aires. The air attack was carried out in successive waves between 12:40 and 17:40. The objective, in addition to overthrowing and assassinating the president, was establish a civil triumvirate made up of Miguel Ángel Zavala Ortiz (UCR leader), Americo Ghioldi (leader of the Socialist Party) and Adolfo Vicchi (of the Conservative Party).

Participating in the attack were, among others: Rear Admiral Olivieri, leader of the conspirators, assistants of the Minister of the Navy, among whom Emilio Eduardo Massera, Horacio Mayorga and Oscar Montes stand out, who years later would participate in the military dictatorship of ’76 and the Trelew Massacre in 1972.

After the coup attempt on June 16 failed, they took refuge in Uruguay. There they were received at the Carrasco airport by Captain Carlos Guillermo Suárez Mason, a fugitive from Argentine Justice since his participation in a military uprising against President Perón in September 1951.

Before the bombing, Juan Domingo Perón had retired to the Libertador Building, so he was not in the Casa Rosada at the beginning of the attacks and that is why he survived.

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Monument to those who fell in the attack by the Armed Forces on Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada.

Bombing of the Plaza de Mayo: how many dead there were

This act of military terrorism generated a great impact that mixed a climate of fear in society and can be considered a precedent for the emergence of reactive forces such as Montoneros and the ERP. The attack left a balance of at least 308 people dead and it is estimated that more than 800 injured.

It is also strange that for a long time this fact seemed to be forgotten in Argentine history. Firstly, due to the 18 years of ban that Peronism suffered between 1955 and 1973, but it was not until 2005, at the initiative of President Néstor Kirchner, when the Human Rights Secretariat began an investigation into the attack.

Then, in 2008, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner inaugurated an official monument in tribute to the victims of the bombing, located in the Plaza de Mayo.


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