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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A half-deflated leather football, a box of marbles and a ragged doll line the display cabinets in the Evita Museum like ancient relics. These worn-out toys played a vital role in the rise of Peronism in Argentina, one of Latin America's most influential movements.
Long before politicians started using social media to influence public opinion, the movement of Juan Perón and his second wife also sought to touch voters on a personal level: handing out toys to 4 million children to poor children. The practice was fundamental to the popularity of Peronism, which persisted far beyond the deaths of Perón and wife Eva María Duarte, famously known as Evita.
To mark the 100th anniversary of her birth, the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires has inaugurated an exhibition of the toys.