The story

Military Governments in Brazil


Castello Branco Government (1964-1967)

Castello Branco, military general, was elected by the National Congress president of the Republic on April 15, 1964. In his statement, he declared defending democracy, but at the beginning of his rule, assumed an authoritarian position.

It established indirect elections for president, besides dissolving the political parties. Several federal and state lawmakers were stripped of their mandates, citizens had their political and constitutional rights canceled, and unions received intervention from the military government.

Under his rule, bipartisanship was instituted. Only two parties were allowed to operate: the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) and the National Renewing Alliance (ARENA). While the former was of opposition, somewhat controlled, the latter represented the military.

The military government imposes, in January 1967, a new constitution for the country. Approved that same year, the 1967 Constitution confirms and institutionalizes the military regime and its forms of action.

Costa e Silva Government (1967-1969)

In 1967, General Arthur da Costa e Silva assumed the presidency, after being indirectly elected by the National Congress. His government is marked by protests and social demonstrations. Opposition to the military regime is growing in the country. UNE (National Students Union) organizes, in Rio de Janeiro, the Hundred Thousand March.

In Contagem (MG) and Osasco (SP), workers' strikes paralyze factories in protest of the military regime.

The urban guerrilla begins to organize. Formed by leftist young idealists, they rob banks and kidnap ambassadors to raise funds for the armed opposition movement.

On December 13, 1968, the government enacted Institutional Act Number 5 (AI-5). This was the toughest in the military government, as it retired judges, revoked mandates, undermined habeas corpus guarantees, and increased military and police repression.

Government of the Military Junta (31/8 / 1969-30 / 10/1969)

Ill, Costa e Silva was replaced by a military junta formed by the ministers Aurélio de Lira Tavares (Army), Augusto Rademaker (Navy) and Márcio de Sousa e Melo (Aeronautics).

Two leftist groups, MR-8 and ALN kidnap US Ambassador Charles Elbrick. The guerrillas demand the release of 15 political prisoners, a requirement successfully achieved. However, on September 18, the government enacted the National Security Act. This law decreed exile and the death penalty in cases of "adverse or revolutionary or subversive psychological warfare".

In late 1969, ALN leader Carlos Mariguella was killed by repression forces in Sao Paulo.

Medici Government (1969-1974)

In 1969, the Military Junta chooses the new president: General Emilio Garrastazu Medici. His government is considered the toughest and most repressive of the period, known as the "lead years." The crackdown on armed struggle grows and a severe censorship policy is put into effect. Newspapers, magazines, books, plays, movies, music and other forms of artistic expression are censored. Many teachers, politicians, musicians, artists and writers are investigated, arrested, tortured or exiled from the country. DOI-Codi (Detachment of Operations and Intelligence and the Center for Internal Defense Operations) acts as a center for investigation and repression of the military government.

The rural guerrillas gain strength in the countryside, especially in Araguaia. The Araguaia guerrilla is strongly repressed by the military forces.

The Economic Miracle

In the economic area, the country was growing rapidly. This period from 1969 to 1973 became known with the time of the Economic Miracle. Brazilian GDP grew at a rate of almost 12% per year, while inflation was close to 18%. With domestic investments and foreign loans, the country has advanced and structured an infrastructure base. All these investments generated millions of jobs across the country. Some works, considered pharaonic, were executed, such as the Transamazon Highway and the Rio-Niteroi Bridge.

However, all this growth had a huge cost and the bill should be paid in the future. Foreign loans generated a high foreign debt by Brazil's economic standards.