Power

AI-5: 50 years ago, Brazil institutionalized torture and repression

military dictatorship AI-5
Brazil’s military dictatorship lasted from 1964 until 1985

Fifty years today, on December 13, 1968, Brazil’s military regime enacted a decree which came to define the dictatorship period of 1964-1985. Known as Institutional Act No. 5, or AI-5, it served to institutionalize the generals’ practices of torture, repression, and censorship, signaling the beginning of Brazil’s Years of Lead.

Four and a half years after the military coup which deposed President João Goulart and installed a dictatorship in charge of Brazil, AI-5 gave the head of state almost unlimited powers, closing the Congress, impeaching politicians, and suspending the right of habeas corpus for political...

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