The Brazilian Military Dictatorship: a Present Past

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The 1964 coup in Brazil launched a military dictatorship that for two decades subjected diverse social groups to authoritarianism and repressive violence. In 1985, the last military president was replaced by a civilian government following an agreement between dissident factions of the dictatorship and a section of the democratic opposition. This agreed transition allowed the military institutions to remain untouched and united, preserved from punishment or any need to express regret, while the Constitution approved in 1988 tried to set the grounds for a lasting democracy. These events from the 1980s have continued to shape politics in Brazil, including the more recent political scenario, which from 2014 experienced a radical shift rightwards that strengthened those discourses nostalgic for the dictatorship and gave rise to the Bolsonarist phenomenon.

The purpose of my presentation is to synthesize this process as a means to understand the present political situation. In the conclusion, I comment on the role of the military corporation in the current Lula government and develop some hypotheses concerning the political future of the armed forces in Brazil.

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How to Cite
PATTO SA MOTTA, R. (2023). The Brazilian Military Dictatorship: a Present Past. Brasiliana: Journal for Brazilian Studies, 12(1).


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