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José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma

José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma

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José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma (26 February 1885-26 October 1944) was a Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian historian, writer and politician who served as Prime Minister of Peru
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

. In later life he became associated with fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...


Early years

Riva-Agüero, a descendant of José de la Riva Agüero
José de la Riva Agüero
José Mariano de la Riva Agüero y Sánchez Boquete Marquess De Montealegre de Aulestia was a Peruvian soldier, politician, historian and twice President of Peru....

, studied at the National University of San Marcos
National University of San Marcos
The National University of San Marcos is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima...

 and the University of Lima
University of Lima
The University of Lima is a private university in Lima, the capital of Peru. It was founded in 1962. The decision to create the University of Lima was made in the early 1960s by a group of university professors, along with important commerce and industry representatives. It started with only 120...

 where he completed his PhD, before returning to San Marcos as Professor of History. As an academic Riva-Agüero stressed the Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 nature of Peru against the indigensitas
Indigenismo is a Latin American idea and movement pressing for a greater social and political role for the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the revindication of indigenous rights and including compensation for past wrongdoings of the colonial and republican states...

, who stressed the importance of indigenous peoples in nation-building, and as such he became embroiled in an intellectual struggle with José Carlos Mariátegui
José Carlos Mariátegui
José Carlos Mariátegui La Chira was a Peruvian journalist, political philosopher, and activist. A prolific writer before his early death at age 35, he is considered one of the most influential Latin American socialists of the 20th century...

. He entered politics in 1915 when he was co-founder of the moderate Democratic National Party
Democratic National Party
Democratic National Party was a political party in Peru. It was founded in 1915 by José de la Riva Agüero. In contrast to its founders later flirtations with fascism the PND was a moderate party near the centre of Peruvian politics....


Public office

In 1919 Riva-Agüero left for an extended stay in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and whilst there he came into contact with the works of radical Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 rightist authors such as Jacques Bainville
Jacques Bainville
Jacques Bainville was a French historian and journalist. A staunch monarchist, he was a leading figure in Action Française...

 and Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

 and soon became a disciple of their ideas. He returned to Peru in 1930 and by 1933 he had been handed the positions of Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Minister of Public Education under the Presidency of General Óscar R. Benavides
Óscar R. Benavides
Óscar Raymundo Benavides Larrea , prominent Peruvian field marshal, diplomat and politician, and was the President of Peru from 1914 to 1915 and from 1933 to 1939.- Early life :...



After his spell as Prime Minister Riva-Agüero moved further to the right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

. He launched his own hard-line Catholic Acción Patriótica movement after the model of Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

and before long he had changed the name of this group to the Peruvian Fascist Brotherhood. He personally declared his support for Italian fascism
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 and Falangism
Falangism is the political ideology of the Spanish Falange as well as derivatives of it in other countries. In its original form, Falangism is widely associated as a fascist ideology, the Spanish Falange denied this, claiming it was not a copy of any foreign movement...

 although it has been argued that politically he was more of a very elitist Catholic rightist who also supported Hispanidad. Initially Riva-Agüero gained a strong following for his new endeavour but before long his new found extremism
Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

, combined with his increasingly odd personal behaviour, began to lose him his credibility. He became strongly anti-Semitic and soon took to praising Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, losing him some support. Meanwhile he started insisting that followers called him the Marquis of Aulestia, a title that had been in the family but had long since fell into disuse and which had little currency in a republic such as Peru, and his generally arrogant demeanour cost him more support. His persona was further damaged when he even took to occasional bouts of public transvestism
Transvestism is the practice of cross-dressing, which is wearing clothing traditionally associated with the opposite sex. Transvestite refers to a person who cross-dresses; however, the word often has additional connotations. -History:Although the word transvestism was coined as late as the 1910s,...

 at functions. He finally drifted into obscurity in 1942 when Peru officially became one of the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 although he continued to write articles in defence of the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 until his death.

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