Power

Brazil’s military politicians are out and about and together again

After the end of the military dictatorship, Brazil's Armed Forces regained respect by keeping to themselves — now, they have returned head-first into politics

After winning the presidency, Jair Bolsonaro named throngs of military officers to government positions. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR
After winning the presidency, Jair Bolsonaro named throngs of military officers to government positions. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Former president and current presidential frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has pledged to fire thousands of military officers from government jobs should he win this year’s election. But even if he succeeds, the military will still be out and about in Brasília. They have left the confines of the barracks and, at least in the short term, they are not planning a retreat.

Not since Brazil’s 21-year dictatorship ended in 1985 has the military enjoyed as much political power as it does now. In 2019, Jair Bolsonaro — a former Army captain forced into retirement by a disciplinary...

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