The characters double one another and historical figures. There are two writers, Luisa and the Sorcerer, as well as two witches, Machi and Caboclo de Mar. After Juan Perón’s death, in 1974, Isabel Perón ruled the country with José López Rega, leader of a conservative Peronist faction and Minister of Social Welfare. He was forced into hiding, and Isabel was overthrown a year later. A minor police official during the first Peronist regime, he later offered his services to the exiled president and became Perón’s personal secretary during his last years in Spain. Though he occupied the post of secretary of welfare, he was a close personal adviser to Perón and his wife during and after their return to Argentina and was relied upon heavily by the latter after her husband’s death. He received much attention in the foreign press for his devotion to astrology and the occult, but it was his ruthless power struggle within the Peronist movement that concerned Argentines. He attacked both moderate and left-wing movements.
The Dead Woman is based on Eva Perón, who was born to an unwed mother with the help of an Indian midwife in the pampas near Los Toldos. Eva met Perón and married him in 1945. Perón ruled Argentina from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974. Isabel, Juan Perón’s wife after Eva’s death, was selected as his running mate in 1973. Valenzuela parodies Isabel’s conscious imitation of Eva’s style as she attempted to evoke the myth of Eva after Perón’s return to power. Navoni is a composite of various revolutionaries Valenzuela has known. Although the generals and other political figures are depicted in detail to make them recognizable to an Argentine audience, what is more essential are the metaphors.