Brazilian military dictatorship

Article

October 19, 2021

The Brazilian military dictatorship was established on April 1, 1964 and lasted until March 15, 1985, under the command of successive military governments. Authoritarian and nationalist in character, it began with the military coup that overthrew the government of João Goulart, the then democratically elected president. The regime ended when José Sarney assumed the presidency, which began the period known as the New Republic (or Sixth Republic). Despite initial promises of brief intervention, the military dictatorship lasted 21 years. In addition, the dictatorship was intensified through the publication of several Institutional Acts, culminating with Institutional Act Number Five (AI-5) of 1968, which ran for ten years. The 1946 Constitution was replaced by the 1967 Constitution and, at the same time, the National Congress was dissolved, civil liberties were suppressed, and a code of military criminal procedure was created that allowed the Brazilian Army and Military Police to arrest and incarcerate people. suspected, in addition to making any judicial review impossible. The regime adopted a nationalist, developmental, and anti-communist policy. The dictatorship reached the height of its popularity in the 1970s with the "economic miracle" at the same time the regime censored all media in the country and tortured and exiled dissidents. In the 1980s, like other Latin American military regimes, the Brazilian dictatorship fell into decay when the government was no longer able to stimulate the economy, control chronic hyperinflation and the increasing levels of income concentration and poverty stemming from its economic project, which gave impetus to the pro-democracy movement. The government passed an Amnesty Law for political crimes committed by and against the regime, restrictions on civil liberties were relaxed, and then indirect presidential elections were held in 1984, with civilian and military candidates. The Brazilian military regime inspired the model of other dictatorships throughout Latin America, through the systematization of the "Doctrine of National Security", which justified military actions as a way to protect the "interest of national security" in times of crisis. Since the approval of the 1988 Constitution, Brazil has returned to institutional normality. According to the Charter, the Armed Forces return to their institutional role: the defense of the State, the guarantee of constitutional powers and (on the initiative of these powers) of law and order. , the Armed Forces have always maintained a denial discourse. They only officially admitted the possibility of torture and murder in September 2014 in response to the National Truth Commission. However, despite the various evidence, the internal offices of the Brazilian Navy, the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force were unanimous in stating that in their investigations they found no evidence that "supported or denied" the thesis that there was "formal deviation of purpose in the use of military installations". In May 2018, the US State Department released an April 11, 1974 memorandum that states that the dictatorship's top not only knew about but also authorized the tortures and murders that were committed against opponents. It is estimated that there were 434 deaths and political disappearances during the regime, in addition to a genocide of native peoples that killed more than 8,300 Brazilian indigenous people through negligence and for specific actions aimed at the indigenous massacre. A CIA study pointed out that, in 1970, Brazil had a more repressive dictatorship than the Soviet Union in the same period.

Background

The Brazilian Armed Forces acquired great political power after the victory in the Paraguayan War. The politicization of institutions

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