PERU: Retiring Strongman?

Since October 1948, when he seized power as the leader of a military coup, General Manuel Odria has ruled Peru as a fatherly, sometimes Big Brotherly dictator. Elected President in 1950 in a one-candidate race, Odria said recently that he intended to step down at the end of his six-year term, handing his office over to a constitutionally elected successor. Many of his countrymen doubted whether the strongman, only 57, really meant it, but last week, in a published interview with touring New York Timesman Herbert L. Matthews, Odria repeated his intention with notable firmness. He...

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