Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: reproduction

Originally published in “Brasil de Fato”

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the US State Department to release US intelligence documents related to the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985)

The demand was presented as an interim amendment to the annual US defense budget, along with 1,471 other proposals from lawmakers, but there is no guarantee that it will pass.

In the draft text of the current amendment, Ocasio-Cortez requests a report from Secretary of State Antony Blinken on US involvement in the 1964 coup and whether they had prior knowledge of the possibility of the military taking power.

The deputy also requests that the eventual document contain intelligence information between the years 1964 and 1985 on the involvement of the Brazilian military in murders, torture, disappearances and arbitrary arrests, as well as on the death of indigenous people by direct violence or negligence.

In addition, the report is expected to include an analysis of the military partnership between the US and Brazil during the dictatorship, covering details on training, logistics and arms transfers.

Documented US involvement

In 2024, the Brazilian military coup completes 60 years, and the participation of the United States in this period has already been documented by historians.

The then US ambassador to Brazil in 1964, Lincoln Gordon, proposed sending a naval force to the Brazilian coast as part of Operation Brother Sam, with the aim of assisting the troops that deposed President João Goulart (1961-1964). Although the action was approved by the Lyndon Johnson government, Goulart was overthrown before the ships arrived.

US embassy files from the years 1975-1976, published by WikiLeaks, also revealed that the White House was aware of human rights violations during the Brazilian military dictatorship, but minimized these violations as exceptions, as a way of justifying the continuity of the support and military training to Brazilian forces.

The United States also supported Operation Condor, which established a network for coordinated repression of dictatorships in South America.

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