Bolsonaro Changes Command of The Armed Forces and Opens Biggest Military Crisis since 1977

Braga Netto, the new defense minister, was irritated by collective resignation and announced the dismissal of the general officers

São Paulo and Brasília

For the first time in history, the Armed Forces commanders asked to resign on Monday because of a disagreement with the President of the Republic.

On Monday, the new defense minister, General Walter Braga Netto, announced the resignation of the three by order of Jair Bolsonaro.

The military command was against the resignation of Braga Netto’s predecessor, general Fernando Azevedo.

Brazil's president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro (C) addresses the press flanked by newly appointed Brazilian Air Force Commander Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez (L), Brazilian Naval Forces Commander, Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior (2-L), Fernando Azevedo e Silva, who was appointed as Defense Minister (2-R) and Brazilian Army Commander Edson Leal Pujol at the Aeronautics Command in Brasilia, on November 22, 2018. (Photo by Sergio LIMA / AFP) ORG XMIT: SLI - AFP

The now ex-minister rejected the chief's pressure to support the government and actions to repress social containment measures against the coronavirus.

The trio's departure opens the biggest crisis in the area since President Ernesto Geisel sacked Army Minister Sylvio Frota in 1977.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the 1964 coup, so there is still tension. Bolsonaro told supporters that he is governed by the Constitution, which limits decreeing a state of siege.

Braga Netto's published his first memo on the anniversary of the 1964 coup. He maintained the tone previously adopted by Azevedo, positioning the coup as a response to a threat against democracy.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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