Azules y Colorados

Armed Confrontations in the Argentine Armed Forces, 1962–1963

Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia

Azules versus Colorados is the name given to a series of armed confrontations between two factions of the Argentine Armed Forces in 1962 and 1963, during the de facto presidency of José María Guido.
Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Latin America@War
Illustration :
over 200 photos, 8 maps, 24 color profiles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512197
Pages : 112
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Both the Azules and Colorados shared Argentina's alignment with the United States in the Cold War and the need to combat communism, but they disagreed on the attitude to take with Peronism and the professional profile that the Armed Forces should have. The Azules proposed a limited integration of Peronism into Argentine political life and an Armed Forces with a high degree of autonomy and unified through a strict chain of command. The Colorados equated Peronism with Communism, advocating the complete eradication of both, and were characterized by a greater politicization of the military and deliberative inner workings. By 1962, each side was fighting to gain control over the entire Armed Forces and thus be in a position to exercise guardianship over the government and set the course that national policy should follow. Politically, the radicals of the people (balbinistas) were closer to the Colorados, while the intransigent radicals (frondisistas) were closer to the Azules. The combats included the participation of civilian commandos, mainly on the Colorado side.

The names “Azules” and “Colorados” appeared during the fighting in September 1962 and have their origin in the terminology used historically in the study of military science, to designate the two hypothetical sides facing each other in a simulated war. The confrontation between the two groups was expressed in several episodes and two armed clashes, the first that took place between 16 September and 18 September 1962, and the second between 2 April and 5 April 1963. The combat on 1 April established victory for the Azules, dominated by the chiefs of the Cavalry and the leadership of General Juan Carlos Onganía, over the whole of the Armed Forces and the civil and ecclesiastical sectors that supported the so-called “Military Party”. Three years later, Onganía would impose the first permanent civic-military dictatorship in Argentine history.

About The Author

Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia was born in Asunción, Paraguay on 14 May 1960. He graduated from the Catholic University of Asunción where he got a B.A. in Clinical Psychology. He also took specialized English courses at Tulane University of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and San Diego State University in California. He is now a retired English Teacher and Academic Coordinator of the Centro Cultural Paraguayo-Americano (CCPA), a binational institute in Asunción. Married with two children, he resides in the capital. In his function as an aviation historian, Sapienza became a founding member of the Instituto Paraguayo de Historia Aeronáutica “Silvio Pettirossi” and has written more than 500 related articles for the specialised press around the world. Sapienza has received five decorations for his academic merits, and published eleven books, including a number for Helion’s @War series.

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