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Commemoration of Brazil's military coup causes anger, unease

  • 27 Mar 2019

Social groups organise protests and the federal prosecutors' office saying that far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's call to commemorate the anniversary of Brazil's 1964 military coup "deserves social and political repudiation."

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro smiles during a signing ceremony for 13.2 billion reais in contracts for electricity transmission lines, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 25, 2019. ( Reuters )

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's call to commemorate the anniversary of Brazil's 1964 military coup is causing discomfort in Latin America's largest nation, with social groups organising protests and the federal prosecutors' office saying the call "deserves social and political repudiation."

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who waxes nostalgic for the 1964-1985 dictatorship, on Monday asked Brazil's Defense Ministry to organise "due commemorations" on March 31, the day historians say marks the coup that began the country's military regime.

The reaction was immediate.

Federal prosecutors said that under international criminal law Brazil's dictators "had committed crimes against humanity." 

In a long and strongly worded statement, prosecutors said Bolsonaro's initiative sounded like an "apology for the practice of atrocities."

Several civil groups announced they were organizing protests throughout the country.

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