“I will return and I will be a million.”
Eve Duarte de Peron was popularly known as Evita Peron or Evita. She was the Argentinian first lady, by virtue of being the second wife of Juan Peron. She previously worked as a model, radio actress and movie star in several media houses in Buenos Aires.
Although she was a woman from limited resources, she managed to achieve success unprecedented in Latin American history. Her ambition and determination drove her from obscure poverty to the heights of national and international prestige. Evita had a short-lived career in the film industry; however, she became a successful and highly paid actress in films and radio dramas in Argentina. Furthermore, her financial independence enabled her to become the co-founder of the Argentine Radio Syndicate (ARS) and move to Recoleta, an exclusive neighborhood in the city.
Her sheer force of desire and will convinced and inspired her to create a public image. As a result of this, Evita propelled herself into an idol in the eyes of ordinary people. She was able to elicit that level of admiration by the way she presented herself.
Evita’s political career began in 1942, and she met Juan Peron during the gala concert organized to help victims of the devastating 1944 earthquake. The former actress had a great concern for the most disadvantaged members of society. That love motivated her to establish the Maria Eva Duarte de Peron Foundation in 1948, which was later renamed the Eve Peron Foundation.
Her influence caused Argentina to praise her as a saint-like goddess and heroine. Maria Lagorio, who served as the information specialist in Washington DC, didn’t interact with Evita but she ranked her in the same league with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The lady managed to empower the masses and the political landscape of her country.
However, Evita’s life was full of controversy as it was a mix of a glamorous image and professed sympathies. Many viewed her public persona as a blend of social conscience and ostentatious style; however, she managed to win her followers’ loyalty and admiration. They considered her the country’s spiritual mother due to the love she continued to hold and demonstrate towards her people.
Evita’s health changed when she had a fainting spell in public due to anemia as a result of cervical cancer. The first lady died in 1952 without knowing of her illness because her husband hid it from her. The nation’s poor citizens that benefited from her charity refused to accept the news. However, the nation mourned for two and a half days and more than three million attended her funeral.
“Suffer little children and come unto me.”
Evita Peron’s Personality
Evita Peron was a promoter, as indicated by the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. The former actress and first lady of Argentina was a woman of action. She was ever optimistic, and this is demonstrated by her determination to succeed. For instance, when her mother was planning to marry her off to local bachelors, Evita was busy in school plays and concerts. She was preparing herself to achieve her dream of becoming a renowned actress, which she achieved in 1933 when she participated in a school play known as Arriba Estudiantes.
Later Evita displayed a bold and daring at heart spirit at the age of 15 when she left her poverty-stricken village and moved to Buenos Aires with a young musician. That relationship ended quickly, but the lady never went back home; instead she decided to seek jobs on the radio which finally led to her film acting career.
The former actress had a hearty appetite for the finer things, and she stated that her motivation for leaving her village for Buenos Aires was because most people that had visited the city described it as a marvelous place where you could become wealthy. Her desire for the good life pushed her to survive in a foreign town without connections or formal education. This was particularly so because it was a period of great depression, and many people had migrated to the city in pursuit of jobs.
When she became the first lady, she turned herself into the romanticized and glamorous Latin American woman. Thus, Evita created an aura of sophistication and style, for she could adorn herself with fur and jewels that had social status and significance. Therefore, she was able to rise from a humble background to a position of influence.
Her go-getter spirit enabled her to get a job at a firm known as Candilejas that gave her a role in its radio drama known as Muy Bien, aired on the country’s most important radio called Radio El Mundo or World Radio. Furthermore, Evita signed a contract with Radio Belgrano the same year and played the role of Sarah Bernhardt, Elizabeth I and the Russian Tsarina in the Great Women of History which was a historical-drama program.
Evita’s passion and determination propelled her to the point of co-owning the Radio El Mundo with Pablo Raccioppi because she was a highly dependable lady. By 1943 she topped the rank of highest-paid radio actress in Argentina. Her financial stability enabled her to enjoy the finer things she was seeking when she left home. Evita Peron was the first woman in Latin America to attain both power and influence.
She was seen in public weeping as she embraced children because she was passionate about the conditions of the poor. Therefore, Evita fought several social battles on their behalf. She still remembered how she felt abandoned and discriminated against when, together with her mother and siblings, she was thrown out her father’s funeral.
Evita became a powerful first lady between 1946 and 1952. She was both loved and hated at the same time. Thus, the announcement of her death on July 26, 1952, was met with both sounds of weeping and cheers from men and women popping champagne bottles. The sound of weeping was heard as people crowded the streets from the day of her death to when she was buried on August 11, 1952.
On the other hand, those that cheered did so in privacy for most of them based their opinion on hearsay or rational interpretation of facts. For instance, her charitable organization was applauded by the poor masses in Argentina for building hospitals, orphanages and schools. It also distributed medicines, money and clothes to the less fortunate in the society.
However, it was said that the distributions were highly publicized, thus serving as a public relations opportunity for the first lady. Therefore, her legendary status grew with each charitable act her foundation engaged in. Furthermore, there was a huge debate concerning the purpose of the Eva Peron foundation, for many judged its intent as a scheme to funnel government funds for the leader’s Swiss bank account and to launder money.
Mary Main states that Eva wasn’t an evil person, but her actions were evil. Thus she lived a life of fantasy that was her own creation. Indeed, that was the reason many were delighted when they heard Eva Peron had died of cancer.
“Shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun.”
Evita Peron’s Early Years
1. Evita Peron’s Parents and Family
Maria Eva Duarte was the daughter of a wealthy rancher who was the descendant of a French Basque immigrant. His name was Juan Duarte while her mother was Juana Ibarguren, a Spanish Basque immigrant. Eva was the youngest and had four siblings: Elisa Ibarguren, Blanca Ibarguren, Erminda Ibarguren, and Juan Ramon Duarte. Duarte had another wife and family; however, the Argentinian culture allowed for multiple families. For that reason, her parents were not legally married.
When Evita was one year old, her father abandoned them and returned to his first wife while Ibarguren relocated with her children to Junín, which was one of the most impoverished places in Argentina. Since Duarte was the sole breadwinner, Eva’s family had to shift to a single room, and to survive the mother and older children Juan, Elisa and Blanca had to work as cooks to boarders in the neighboring farms and seamstress to the neighbors. This turn of events exposed them to abject poverty, discrimination and isolation.
With time, Eva’s eldest brother Juan fortunately managed to support this young family, and with his financial assistance, they were able to move to a bigger house that turned into a boarding house. Blanca, on the other hand, became a teacher, but since Eva was young she had all the time to concentrate on school concerts and plays.
Although Duarte abandoned his mistress and the children, he left an official document that acknowledged the children as his and allowed them to continue using his surname. Duarte died in 1926 in a car accident when Eva was only six years old. However, some reports indicate that Eva, together with her mother and siblings, was ejected out of the church to serve Duarte’s first wife. Since she was the legal wife, her orders were respected.
2. Evita Peron’s Birth
A controversy exists about when Maria Eva Duarte was born. Her certificate of baptism states that she was born on May 7, 1919, while records at Junín’s civil registry indicates that her birth was recorded on May 7 1922. The baptismal certificate bore the name Eva Maria Ibarguren.
On the other hand, it is reported that Eva might have forged her certificate of birth during her marriage. Whatever the case, Eva was born in Los Toldos, which was a small town of Pampas, and was the youngest of five children.
It’s believed that discrimination and poverty are what motivated Eva pursue her dream relentlessly and possibly even to forge her birth certificate in 1945 so that she could change her surname from Duarte to Ibarguren.
“When the rich think about the poor, they have poor ideas.”
Evita Peron’s Childhood Dream
Eva’s mother had different plans for her daughter and her desire was to marry her off to avoid repeating similar mistakes she made herself. On the other hand, Eva had her dream of becoming a famous actress. For that reason, Eva was deeply engrossed in plays and concerts. Her passion was rewarded in 1933 when she participated in Arriba Estudiantes, or Students Arise. The flag-wavering, patriotic and emotional melodrama stirred her passion and determination to become a renowned actress.
The transition to Buenos Aires
In 1934, Eva travelled to Buenos Aires at the age of 15 to advance her acting career. Her travel to the city is still questioned by many who think it was unlikely that Eva travelled alone. Some section of people claim that she traveled with Agustin Magaldi, who was a tango singer. However, Nicholas Fraser and Matysa Navarro repute such claims because there is no record indicating that the tango singer visited Junín the year that Eva traveled to Buenos Aires.
Eva’s sister, on the other hand, claims that her sister left for the city with her mother to attend a radio station audition. Ibarguren later organized for her date to stay with Bustamante family who were their family friends. Another option is that she might have escaped to the city alone and remained in the boardinghouses or tenements. It’s argued that this could be a possibility because she struggled to survive due to lack of connections and formal education.
“In government, one actress is enough.”
Evita Peron’s Acting Career
Eva began her career as a model in a theater company, and this helped her to tour the nation. She also acted in B-grade movie melodramas. In 1942, Eva was hired by the Candilejas Company as an actress in Muy Bien which was a radio drama that was aired by Argentina’s leading radio station, Radio El Mundo or World Radio.
Later in 1942, Eva won a five-year contract with Radio Belgrano which allowed her to play the role of Sarah Bernhardt, Elizabeth I of England and Russian Catherine the Great in the historical-drama program dubbed Great Woman of History. Catherine II was the Russian absolute ruler who overthrew her husband, Peter III, in the late 18th century.
The young actress didn’t stop there, but instead she partnered with Pablo Raccioppi and owned Radio El Mundo. Eva could now afford to make such investments because she was the nation’s highest-paid actress on the radio. The co-owner of the radio company didn’t like Eva; however, he could stand her because she was thoroughly dependable.
Eva’s career, that began in 1934, was short-lived because she left the industry in 1945 to get married to Juan Peron. Also, her years of acting were not fruitful because her films were not hugely successful. One of her films is La cabalgata del circo. In this film, Eva played the role of a naïve country girl that competed with an older woman.
Furthermore, Eva founded Argentine Radio Syndicate (ARA) which Juan Peron used immensely during his campaign for the presidency. Enrique Discepolo used this radio to host political commentary shows.
“I am only a simple woman who lives to serve Peron and my people.”
Evita Peron’s Relationship with Juan Peron
A devastating earthquake hit the region between Chimbas, Albardon and San Juan on January 15, 1944. This earthquake led to the death of more than 8,000 people, 12,000 were severely injured, and 90% of buildings were seriously damaged or destroyed entirely.
For that reason, a benefit gala concert was organized to assist the affected families, and top stars were the main participants. The venue of this event was in Buenos Aires, and the fundraising lasted for a week. Colonel Juan Peron, who was the labor and social welfare secretary, represented the government during this event. Peron had come to assist the aid workers in support of his presidential bid. The two left the artistic festival together at around 2 am.
Evita and Peron began a relationship immediately, for the colonel had lost his first wife Aurelia Tizon in 1938 from cancer. Eva was only 24 years while Peron was 48 years old, but he was willing to accept what she offered him. She always referred to the day they met as a marvelous day and for that reason, she wholeheartedly supported his presidential campaigns.
Evita was elected as the president of the broadcast performers union in 1944, and as the decree to form the movement originated with Peron it was wise to appoint his mistress as a sign of political goodwill. The former actress initiated a daily program dubbed Toward a Better Future that was presented in a soap opera form. Additionally, Evita allowed Peron’s speeches to be in the program. She used this program to lobby for Juan Peron.
“My biggest fear in life is to be forgotten.”
Juan Domingo Peron was an Argentinian politician and army general. He was born on October 8, 1895, in Lobos. His father was Mario Tomas Peron, and his mother was Juana Sosa Toledo and was of modest means. The tall and athletic young man joined military school at the age of 16. Peron married Aurelia Tizon in 1928 while he was serving as a captain. He served in various position in the army, including being appointed as a military attaché in Chile, and had the opportunity to travel to Italy where he witnessed its development between 1938 and 1940.
He returned to his country in 1941 and joined Grupe de Oficales Unidos (GOU), a group of military officers that operated in secrecy. The group planned a coup in 1943 to overthrow the government and as a result Peron was appointed as the Labor and Social Welfare secretary.
President Edelmiro J. Farrell appointed Peron as the vice president in 1944 and 1945 for he was his favorite. Before this appointment he served as the Minister of War. Peron interacted well with the military and the laborers who were referred to as the shirtless ones.
On the other hand, some didn’t like Peron, but their efforts to defeat him were unsuccessful. For instance, in October 1945, rival navy officers and army organized a coup to oust him from his position; however, the labor unions’ associates rallied their workers, and this led to his release a few days later. Later that night, he used Evita’s radio program to address Argentinians and made promises that reinforced his power. Furthermore, Evita’s frequent public appearances enhanced Peron’s chances to win the election. As a result, Peron was elected as the president of Argentina in 1946.
Later in the year, Peron married Evita, his second wife who supported him during his first presidential term which began in 1946 to 1952. The masses viewed her as a political partner and a spouse. Furthermore, Evita supported his policies and administration and, for that reason, Peron’s administration endorsed the third way which was neither communist nor capitalist.
Peron’s presidency is remembered by Argentina because it reshaped the country’s economy, as well as bringing restrictions on civil liberties. Evita was a symbol of hope during her husband’s first term rule. She was adored by the less fortunate but hated by the elite due to her poor background.
In 1951 Peron had to change the law for him to be reelected, for the existing law restricted constitutional liberties severely. As a result, he was reelected again in 1952 but was overthrown in 1955 and went into exile. Peron exerted political influence while in Spain, and this shaped his Peronist movement.
He returned home when his party member Hector Jose Campora become the president of Argentina. It was firmly believed that although Campora was elected as president, it was Juan Peron who had the real power. True to that perception, Campora resigned when Peron returned and Peron vied for the presidency the following year when he won for the third time in 1973. His wife Maria Estela Martinez was also elected as the country’s vice president. Isabel Peron, as she was popularly known in public, became the president after the death of her husband.
Therefore, Peron was elected as a president three times, that is from 1946-1952, 1952-1955 and 1973-1974. He died in July 1974 from a heart attack, and his body was buried in Chacarita cemetery two years after his death. It had been preserved in a special crypt at his residence together with Evita’s body.
“If I have to apply five turns to the screw each day for the happiness of Argentina, I will do it.”
Evita Peron’s Marriage
The two were married on October 21 1945, and in 1946 he won the presidential election. Prior to this victory, Peron was arrested due to his growing popularity. Evita supported her husband and as first lady she improved the lives of the poor.
There is no evidence that Peron and Evita had children. However, there were pictures of three children kneeling to pray, and the caption indicated that they were praying to an image of the Holy Virgin fixed on the wall as taught by their mother. It continued to state that they never forgot to pray for Eva Peron, who was their Spiritual Mother.
In another instance, Juan Peron is shown shaking hands with a team of female athletes in their uniforms, and its caption stated that Peron loves children.
Evita Peron’s Support for her Husband’s Political Career
The first lady supported her husband during his first term in office. Many changes were made because of her influence as first lady; for instance, women suffrage was approved in 1947. Peron supported the formation of Peronist Women’s Party that focused on women, the disabled and the poor. Evita headed the party. She fought for equality and social justice because Evita felt that the ruling class owned the poor, for they had taken everything from them unjustly.
Evita fully supported any legislation for women and their children. For instance, children born out of wedlock didn’t have similar legal rights as those born to married parents. The first lady was fully aware of this for she had gone through the pain of being regarded as an illegitimate child. Such awareness is what motivated her to influence the change of laws so that children that were initially considered illegitimate could henceforth be viewed as natural children. Furthermore, it was announced upon her death that she was 30 for she had changed her birth certificate because her parents were unwedded.
In 1947, Peron and Evita travelled and embarked on a Rainbow Tour across Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland. The goodwill trip enabled the couple to meet with Pope Pius XII, Francisco and Charles de Gaulle. In Spain, Evita gave poor children money; however, she encountered picketers in Switzerland who didn’t welcome her visit, throwing tomatoes and stones at her. Most people in Europe distrusted Peron’s fascist rule and frowned at his relationship with Nazi war criminals. Others were disappointed at Evita’s ostentatious famewhoring through her charitable activities.
Evita ran the ministries of labor and health though she was not officially appointed. For that reason, the first lady was adored by the poor because she worked hard to support them. On the other hand, Evita’s life was not without critics; the elite hated her with equal measures. In 1951 she was asked to run for the post of vice president, however she was facing health issues. Additionally, the army opposed her candidature; thus she turned down the offer.
Therefore, Evita was seen in public in June 1952 during her husband’s second inauguration and died July 26, 1952. Her fame didn’t end with her death because countless films, plays and books were written about her life. It was a story of a girl from a poor background that rose to political power.
“I know that, like every woman of the people, I have more strength than I appear to have.”
Juan Peron and Evita Peron were never active Christians before they got married. However, the two became actively involved in Catholicism in the first term of Juan’s presidency. Thus before 1949, the couple conciliated the church by reinforcing its priorities in different ways.
Peron reinforced catholic religious education in schools through a pronouncement named the Religious Education Decree that took effect in 1947. Furthermore, the president increased state funding directed towards the ecclesiastical budget. He embraced Christian social thinking and made it the official government doctrine, and appointed persons who upheld Catholic teachings in his government.
Nonetheless, Peron abandoned the Christian social thinking in 1949 when his party adopted its own doctrine. The Peronists preferred the justicialismo over the Christian-based one because theirs believed in spiritual unity within the government rather than with church.
Despite the turnover of events, Peron maintained a good relationship with the leaders of the Catholic Church. In the early 1950s, the president leaned towards civic religion that could identify with the Peronist philosophy following the death of Evita. The first lady had attracted immense reverence during her active years, coupled with hysterical grief that ensued after her death. Evita had become an Argentina’s central figure, and due to the tension that arose after her death, Peron’s government came into conflict with the church’s leadership.
It was discovered that the first lady had penned a bitter message to the church hierarchy a few months before her death. Evita complained of lack of connection between the Argentines and clerical hierarchy, thus calling these leaders cold men. She further accused them of inconceivable indifference to people’s plight and pointed out that she had never seen generosity and love among its members.
Therefore, Evita rejected the assertion that religion is the opiate of the poor. Instead, the former model insisted that religion should liberate its members and realize that God was impartial for in His eyes all were equal.
Eva Peron Foundation
The foundation was established in 1948 as the Maria Eva Duarte Social Help Foundation, but was renamed after two years as the Eva Peron Foundation. The main objectives of this foundation were to build new schools, holiday facilities, nursing homes and clinics. Evita, together with 14,000 workers, dedicated their lives to assisting the poor by giving them medicine and money. She worked extended hours touching the sick and kissing the children, for she empathized with the plight of the poor workers that were referred to as the shirtless ones.
Evita funded her foundation using contributions and donations from taxes and levies, unions, and the Peron’s administration pressured businesses to contribute money. These funds enabled the foundation to supply items such as cookware, shoes and clothing to the needy population in Argentina. Furthermore, the foundation was able to build schools, hospitals and houses for the elderly, and homeless women and children.
Ciudad Evita or the Evita city was located in the greater area of Buenos Aires and was funded by the foundation, thus enabling the working class to live there. It bore the shape of her profile when observed by above. It had the shape of her head facing right and the signature chignon hairstyle. However, this city lost its name when Evita died and Juan Peron was overthrown. Later, the city was renamed back to Ciudad Evita, and it has approximately 70,000 residents.
“Time is my greatest enemy.”
Evita Peron’s Sickness
Cervical cancer is one of the major killer diseases in females. Despite the number of women that are diagnosed with cervical cancer, many survive due to increased awareness and treatment in the early stages.
Evita’s initial signs were characterized by a fainting spell in public, followed by an appendectomy. Although the former first lady was receiving cancer treatment, Peron warned the doctors against telling Evita that she had cancer. Instead, the doctors informed her that had anemia.
The public fainting episodes resumed followed by vaginal bleeding, extreme weakness and abdominal pains. The Argentinian doctors treated her with radium, and in November 1951 the first lady was given a hysterectomy. The surgery was undertaken by the world-renowned cancer specialist Dr George Pack.
Later Evita was taken through radiotherapy, which gave her a temporary relief after shrinking the cancer. Furthermore, the first lady underwent chemotherapy, but the outcome was devastating. It is also believed that Evita had prefrontal lobotomy a month before her death. The aim was to reduce her pain, but it made her anxious, thus increasing the cancer symptoms.
Juan Peron’s opponents suggest that he ordered procedure as a means of a political conspiracy to silence her and control her erratic behavior which could have led to a civil war. Irrespective of the motives of this surgery Evita spent her last days in a small room in the presidential palace, and her husband rarely visited her.
“I will come again, and I will be millions.”
Evita Peron’s Death
Evita was referred to as a prominent and charismatic figure in Argentina’s history and died on July 26, 1952, at the age of 33. Millions of people loved her and viewed her as a saint, while detractors viewed this first lady as a megalomaniac. The congress had bestowed her as the Nation’s Spiritual Leader on her 33rd birthday that took place before her death. For that reason, she was accorded a state funeral equivalent to a queen or head of state while the Roman Catholic Church gave a full requiem mass.
Many people spent days outside the president’s house mourning and carrying flowers. All shops selling flower in Buenos Aires ran out stock, and they had to import flowers as far as Chile because her followers camped in the streets mourning her death while holding flowers. During the mourning period, all flags were flown for ten days despite her not holding any political office.
Her body was displayed at the Ministry of Labor, and more than three million attended her mass and funeral. Her body was embalmed and preserved by the state.
There were different interpretations of the mourning that Evita Peron was accorded. Some individuals viewed it as authentic, while others perceived it as one of the Peronist regime’s passion plays. They claimed that Peron’s administration enforced the daily observance followed with a radio announcement.
Evita’s body was embalmed by Pedro Ara who was skilful in embalming. It is reported that her husband decided to have her wife’s body embalmed. Therefore Ara replaced her blood with glycerine which helped in preserving her organs and gave the appearance of a person that was asleep.
“I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows.”
1. The Disappearance of Evita’s Body
Evita’s body was stolen after the 1955 coup that ousted his husband from the presidency, and her body disappeared for more than 16 years. In 1970, General Aramburu was executed and he was believed to be the man responsible for the coup that overthrew Peron from the presidency in 1955 and the disappearance of Evita’s body.
In 1971, a letter that was written by General Aramburu was handed over to President Lanusse and indicated that Evita’s body was buried in Milan under a fake name. Therefore, the body was exhumed, flown to Buenos Aires to undergo examination and was later sent back to Peron, who was in exile in Madrid.
2. The Return of Evita’s Body
Peron received Evita’s body, but because it was damaged he cleaned it, brushed her hair and displayed it in the dining room. Maria Estela, who was Peron’s third wife, laid continuously atop the coffin to receive her spiritual energy. This was a 19th century belief that was embraced mostly by the political leaders who were hoping to become future head of state.
Peron died in 1974, and Evita’s remains were repatriated in November 1974 and they were placed next to each other at the presidential residence in Olivos.
3. Final Burial of Evita Peron
The military handed over Evita’s remains to her two sisters Blanca Ibarguren and Erminda Ibarguren for burial when Maria Estela Peron was overthrown in March 1976. Evita Peron was finally laid to rest at a maiden family tomb located in Recoleta cemetery. At this time Evita’s brother Juan Ramon Ibarguren had died on April 9, 1953, sister Elisa Duarte Ibarguren had died on May 7, 1967, and her mother on February 11, 1971.
Juan Peron’s Wives
1. Aurelia Tizon
Aurelia was born on March 18, 1908, in Argentina. A teacher by profession, she met Juan Peron in 1925 and got married to him in 1928. She was nicknamed Potota, and many described her as a smart but very sensitive woman. Aurelia loved drawing and painting; she also read English very well and even helped her husband to understand the military English textbooks.
Aurelia died at the age of 30 in Septembers 10, 1938 as a result of the same cancer that killed Evita Peron in 1952.
2. Maria Estela Martinez (Isabel Peron)
She was born in 1931 and got married to President Juan Peron after the death of Evita Peron. She served as the first lady and vice president between 1973 and 1974 and took over the presidency at the death of her husband.
Her parents were Carmelo Martinez and Maria Olguin. Isabel adopted this name while serving as a nightclub dancer after dropping out of school. She met Juan Peron while in exile in Panama, and he became attracted to her beauty. Peron married Isabel in November 1961 due to increased pressure from Roman Catholic which disapproved of cohabitation. Isabela acted as a go-between for the Spanish government and Argentina since Peron was not allowed to return to his country.
Therefore, she served from 1974 after the death of her husband up to 1976 when she was put under house arrest when the military took over for five years. Isabela had failed to win the labor unions or gain firm support from the power group, and a result there increased political violence and terrorist activity. In 1981, Peron was sent to exile Spain and was arrested in January 2007 due to the execution of activists during his tenure; however, the Spanish courts declined to order her extradition to Argentina.
Evita Peron Museum
Museo Evita or Evita Museum was opened in July 2002 in remembrance of Evita Peron’s death. The museum was opened by Evita’s grand-niece called Christina Alvarez Rodriquez and is located in Palermo, Buenos Aires. It’s set up in the building that was used by the Eva Peron Foundation for homeless children and women.
The museum has displayed Evita’s portraits, artistic renderings of her life as well as designer clothing, for she wore tailored suits, Dior dresses and eye-catching jewellery. The museum has become a tourist attraction.
The iconic lady’s home was also restored into an interactive museum to mark her 100th anniversary. She was referred to as a champion of the poor and helper of women.
Evita Peron’s Legacy
Evita Peron was placed in the same category as the Virgin of Guadalupe because she was the one woman in the entirety of Latin America to arouse such devotion, emotion and faith that the Argentinians had.
Therefore, many writers claimed the former actress and first lady willfully incorporated certain aspects portrayed by Mary Magdalene and theology of the Virgin in her public persona. Others described her as one of the shrewdest women who lived in Latin America and had a public life. Therefore, the sleeping beauty of Latin America become the cultural icon, just like Che Guevara.
The first lady was featured in the Argentinian coins and currency known as Evitas; this was done in her honor. This made her the first woman to be featured in the country’s currency. The Evita City or Ciudad Evita that was established by her foundation still exists outside Buenos Aires. When Christina Kirchner was elected from the Peronist party she was regularly referred to as the new Evita. However, she was the first elected female president but Evita was a unique phenomenon in the country’s history
Literature shows that Evita has remained in Argentina’s history, although dead for some years now due to elements such as the mystical, revolutionary leadership, and spirituality power or femininity. Any person that identifies with any of the features put them in the space of established authority.
Although Evita Peron’s death is not marked as a government holiday, many Argentinians remember her every year. For instance, in 2011, two works of artist Alejandro Marmo were unveiled in the Ministry of Social Development’s building facades. They were giant murals of Evita that were made for the 60th anniversary of her death.
In the international scene, Evita Peron appeared in books, articles, music, biographies and stage plays. For instance, Evita was a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and a concept album by Tim Rice in the 1970s. Madonna also stared in Alan parker’s film that was based on the musical.
Furthermore, her dresses are displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in addition to another Christian Dior exhibit.
Additionally, Evita Peron was awarded the titles Spiritual Leader of the Nation, on May 7 May .
“I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with.”
Evita Peron’s Criticism
Evita Peron experienced both love and hate from her countrymen. She was hated by Peronist opponents from her first interaction with Juan Peron. These critics accused him of fascism and her husband was regarded as a Nazi.
Their claim was supported by what happened during the Rainbow tour in 1947 when Evita visited Francisco Franco. The Spanish leader was politically isolated by the time they were visiting him and was seeking a political ally. However, a third of Argentinians have Spanish origins, and for that reason there is a natural reason to have diplomatic ties with Spain. Therefore, although Evita visited Franco due to such reasons, critics judged it from a fascist context.
Enthusiasts of the Perons refuted the claims that they were Nazis by pointing out that there was less social discrimination of the Jews in the country as compared to what was happening in other countries like the US. Peron had even appointed officials of Jewish origin in public office. He also opened a Peronist party branch for the Jewish members. Furthermore, he allowed the operation of rival political parties during his regime. For that reason, his government and first lady were not fascist.
Others accused Juan and Evita of authorizing the entry of Nazi criminals to the country in 1947 and 1948 in exchange for advanced technology that was used in Germany in times of war.
Another accusation against Evita was that she loved furs, jewellery, and designer clothes from Dior. Thus the fact that she could buy as many as she needed provoked people who considered her greedy and a thief. Additionally, people called her mother Juana Ibarguren a prostitute of Junín due to the factor that she had children out wedlock, was later abandoned, chased from the funeral of Juan Duarte and given a hostile look by the neighbors.
Evita was also accused of altering her birth certificate to change her birthplace and birth date. However, a document displayed at the new museum indicates that she born in Los Toldos and baptized in the local Del Pilar parish.
Evita Peron’s Mottos and Quotes
Below you can find the whole collection of Evita Peron’s mottos and quotes in text form.
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I will come again, and I will be millions.
Time is my greatest enemy.
I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows
One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism.
To convince oneself that one has the right to live decently takes time.
My biggest fear in life is to be forgotten.
When the rich think about the poor, they have poor ideas.
I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with.
Suffer little children and come unto me.
Shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun.”
I know that, like every woman of the people, I have more strength than I appear to have.
In government, one actress is enough.
I am only a simple woman who lives to serve Peron and my people.
Charity separates the rich from the poor; aid raises the needy and sets him on the same level with the rich.
I am my own woman.
Keeping books on social aid is capitalistic nonsense. I just use the money for the poor. I can’t stop to count it.
Answer violence with violence. If one of us falls today, five of them must fall tomorrow.
Where there is a worker, there lies a nation.
If I have to apply five turns to the screw each day for the happiness of Argentina, I will do it.