Power

The uncertain role of the Armed Forces in the Bolsonaro government

Jair Bolsonaro has the largest military presence of any government since the dictatorship. Would generals back him to the bitter end?

Jair Bolsonaro addressing the Southeast Military Command. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR
Jair Bolsonaro addressing the Southeast Military Command. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

During his participation in yet another quasi-putschist demonstration this past Sunday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro made sure to increase speculation about the role of the military within his administration. “The people are with us, the Armed Forces — alongside law, order, democracy, and liberty — are with us as well,” he said. Mr. Bolsonaro went on to say that the government was “on the edge” and that there was no longer any room for negotiations. “From now on, we will enforce the Constitution […] at any cost,” he said, to his assembled supporters.

This was a not-so-veiled attack on the...

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