See the Timeline of the Military Dictatorship, from 1964 to 1985

Follow the main events from 1964 to 1985, during the 21 years that the military regime ruled in Brazil.


● March 31: General Olímpio Mourão Filho triggers the coup when he marches with troops that command Juiz de Fora (MG) towards Rio de Janeiro

● April 2: Congress declares Presidency vacant, although João Goulart is still in the country; The Mayor, Ranieri Mazzilli, temporarily takes over

● April 9: The first Institutional Act is implemented, which institutionalizes the coup

● April 11: General Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco is elected president by an electoral college

● Year ends with 20 deaths and 203 reports of torture


● October 27: AI-2 is implemented. Castello Branco dissolves political parties, and the presidential election becomes indirect

● At the end of the year, there were 84 reports of torture and three deaths


● February 5: Institutional Act No. 3 results in indirect elections for governors

● March: Protests occur in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte; two bombs explode in Recife

● October 3: General Artur da Costa e Silva is elected president by the Congress

● 66 reports of torture and two deaths were recorded


March 15: Costa e Silva takes office

● This year, the reports of torture reached 50


● March 28: Military police kill student Edson Luís de Lima Souto, which provokes street protests in Rio.

● June 26: 100,000 people march gathers opponents and artists in Rio de Janeiro

● July 18: Theater in which the play Roda Viva is located in São Paulo is destroyed and the actors are beaten

● October 12: About a thousand students are arrested in Ibiúna (SP), where the UNE Congress takes place

● December 13: AI-5 is implemented. The press is censored, and many people are arrested

● The “lead years” begin

● Reports of torture reached 85


● August: Costa e Silva falls ill

● August 13: A military junta formed by the commanders of the Army, Lira Tavares, Navy, Augusto Rademaker and Aeronautics, Márcio de Souza Melo, assumes the Presidency

● September 4: Leftist groups kidnap the American ambassador, Charles Elbrick, and release him three days later, in exchange for the release of political prisoners

● October 17: A new Constitution is launched, hardening the regime

● October 30: Reopened Congress elects general Emílio Garrastazu Médici as president

● November 4: Leader of ALN (National Liberation Action), Carlos Marighella, died in an ambush in São Paulo

● Reports of torture reached 1,027


● Beginning of the “economic miracle,” which will last until the middle of the decade and will record double-digit GDP growth rates

● June 21: Brazil wins football World Cup and regime takes advantage of the current pride atmosphere

● September: DOIs (Detachment of Information Operations) are created to control information and repress opponents of the military regime

● About 1,200 reports of torture and 30 deaths were recorded in the year


● January 20: ex-deputy Rubem Paiva is arrested at home; his body was never found

● * September 17.: Carlos Lamarca, military deserter and one of the leaders of the armed struggle against the dictatorship, is killed by the Army of Bahia

● 778 as reports of torture, with 30 killed

● 1972

● January.: Army discovers PC do B guerrilla training base in Araguaia

● August: Amnesty International releases a 91-page report with 472 names of torturers and 1,081 tortured

● 1973

● June 18: Medici informs General Ernesto Geisel that he will be his successor in the Presidency

● July: Estado de S. Paulo newspaper starts publishing poems in censored spaces

● October: Regime launched its biggest new offensive in Araguaia


● March 15: Ernesto Geisel takes office

● August 29.: Geisel announces a slow, gradual and secure political opening

● September: Arrests occur at Cebrap (Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning)

● October: Army kills Araguaia’s last guerrilla, student Walkiria Afonso Costa, 27


● October 25: Journalist Vladimir Herzog, communist sympathizer, comparison with DOI-Codi for giving testimony; hours later he is found dead

● October 27: Herzog is buried; on the 31st, an ecumenical service is held at the Catedral da Sé in his memory

● The year ends with 585 reports of torture


● January 16: Operator Manoel Fiel Filho is arrested and taken to the Doi-CODI premises, where he is killed by the dictatorship the following day

● August 19: Bombs are detonated at ABI (Brazilian Press Association) and OAB (Brazilian Bar Association)

● September 22: Bishop dom Adriano Hipólito is kidnapped, and a bomb explodes in the home of journalist Roberto Marinho, president of Organizações Globo

● 156 reports of torture were recorded during the year


● March 30: Students from São Paulo challenge the regime ban and take to the streets

● April 13: Geisel launches the April Package, which creates the figure of the “bionic senator”

● May .: About 80 thousand students go on strike across the country

● June 6 .: Military police invade the University of Brasilia

● September 22: PUC-SP is invaded, and 1,700 students are detained

● September 15: Journalist Lourenço Diaferia is arrested after writing a column in Folha that was considered offensive to the memory of Duque de Caxias

● October 12: Geisel exonerates the Minister of the Army, Sílvio Frota, representative of the hardline

● December: Geisel informs General João Baptista Figueiredo that he will be his successor

● At the end of the year, there were about 214 reports of torture recorded


● At least 26 bombs explode throughout the year in several cities

● June: Censorship of the Tribuna da Imprensa comes to an end, and Jornal do Brasil publishes all prohibited texts since 1969

● October: Justice holds the Union responsible for the death of Vladimir Herzog

● December: In the last edition of the year, Jornal do Brasil makes the headline: “AI-5 regime ends at midnight today”


● At least three bombs explode throughout the year

● A series of attacks on newsstands begins

● March 13: ABC metalworkers declare a general strike. Union, led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is placed under intervention

● August 28: Figueiredo sanctions the Amnesty Law. Exiles can return to the country

● November: Congress puts an end to bipartisanship. Tancredo Neves creates the Partido Popular and Leonel Brizola, the PDT. Arena becomes PDS and MDB, the PMDB


● February 10: Workers’ Party is founded

● April 1: ABC metalworkers go on strike; on April 17, government decrees intervention in the Union, and two days later, Lula is arrested

● 1981

● April 30: Bomb explodes by accident in the parking lot of Riocentro, in Rio de Janeiro, frustrating an attempt on the Labor Day event; incident, which killed one soldier and wounded another, shows the regime’s hardline action


● November 15: The first direct election for governor since the military regime was established, and about 48 million voters go to the polls; PMDB wins in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Paraná; Brizola is elected in Rio


● March 2: Deputy Dante de Oliveira (PMDB) presents draft constitutional amendment that calls for the reestablishment of the direct election for president

● March 15: Governors-elect are sworn in

● June 15: Approximately 5,000 people participate in a rally by the Diretas Já, in Goiânia

● November: PT holds rally in São Paulo. Folha starts campaign for Direct elections

● 1984

● January 25: Approximately 200 thousand people participate in a pro-Direct elections rally in Praça da Sé, in São Paulo

● February to April: Direct elections mobilization spreads across the country

● April 25: Dante de Oliveira’s amendment is defeated in the Chamber; 22 votes left


● January 15: Tancredo Neves is elected president by the electoral college

● March 14: On the eve of his inauguration, Tancredo is hospitalized in serious condition

● March 15: José Sarney assumes the Presidency of the Republic putting an end to the military regime

● April 21: On Tiradentes day, Tancredo dies at 75