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Brazil Military Contains Rightwing Extremism in Historic Twist

  • Eight senior armed forces officers feature in cabinet of 22
  • Presence of armed forces in government approved by public
Brazilian soldiers march during the annual Independence Day.

Brazilian soldiers march during the annual Independence Day.

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images South America

When Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was elected, the prospect of the armed forces holding senior posts in his cabinet alarmed those who feared a return to military rule. But to date, the former officers are the ones curbing extremism in government.

Civilians in his administration have threatened Venezuela, demanded school children be filmed singing the national anthem and lamented the teaching of the theory of evolution. In the wake of each of these incidents, it’s been the former military commanders who’ve sought to cool the furore, particularly Vice President General Hamilton Mourao.