Peru: When the Brass Fall Out

It was a defiant show. In his beribboned cavalryman's uniform, General Ricardo Pérez Godoy, 59, head of the four-man military junta that took over Peru after inconclusive elections last year, sat stiffly in the ornate Salón Blanco of Lima's presidential palace listening to the complaints of two fellow junta members, Air Force Major General Pedro Vargas Prada and Vice Admiral Francisco Torres Matos. The midnight callers gave him an ultimatum: resign or be driven out. Replied Pérez Godoy: "I refuse to leave. It is too late now to continue this conversation. I am going to retire."

His bravado was in...

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