History Politics

The barracks need to explain themselves

The barracks need to explain themselves

"In a democracy, the military must be accountable to the people, not the other way around."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is inevitable that the current national political situation, with the revelations of the investigations into the January 8th coup, will be compared to the times when the country was ruled with an iron fist by the military. The apparent concern in the aftermath of the election that the regime would close down again was well-founded. The Federal Police's investigations show that the planning for the coup was actually carried out by the Armed Forces and even went so far as to discuss a draft decreeing a state of emergency with the support of the military's high command.

As much as the country is polarized by different ideologies, it still seems surreal that it has reached this point. It's obvious that this tupiniquim nonsense, dressed up as a coup and planned by jocular figures, wouldn't last a week. In addition to the social repudiation (even credible right-wingers wouldn't support this madness), the international community would simply extirpate the country from the planet, like someone removing a cancer from these bastards. 

But then, why did the military, respected, well-prepared and disciplined professionals, let this lunar loquacity evolve to this point?

It's curious that two of the main articulators of the new coup went through the military career with blemishes on their conduct. Bolsonaro was charged with disciplinary infractions and suspected of taking part in a plan to explode bombs in barracks. In 1977, General Heleno worked in Minister Silvio Frota's office and, together with his superior, tried to confront and prevent the political opening project led by Golbery do Couto e Silva and General Geisel. A process of political opening that wasn't necessarily democratic, but still tried to keep power in the hands of the military. In other words, General Heleno, who was already a coup plotter, tried in 1977 to put the coup that had been in force since 1964 behind him.

It's no coincidence. Just as the Integralists led by Plinio Salgado, who attempted a fascist coup in 1930 and seemed to have disappeared in '37, returned to the political scene with strong articulations in the 1964 coup, now insubordinate military men are resurfacing to try to attack the democratic system just as they had already tried in 1977. The negligence, or parsimony, of the military high command with its insubordinates generated the serpent's egg that would plot the coup of 2022.

Bolsonaro got into office more because of the left's demerit from Lava Jato than because of his own merits. Even he admits this, saying that he was president because of a "mess". The phrase suits him well.

When he was elected, he stretched the rope by filling the government with active military personnel in civilian positions with no connection to military functions. 

This dangerous and dysfunctional maneuver of placing the military in civilian power would, of course, bring problems for the country, as it did, either through mismanagement - after all, they weren't trained for the job - or through attachment to power, the embryo of future coups. 

The Lula government has dealt with the issue diplomatically, but with the progress of the investigations there is clearly a general unease about the position of the military leadership. For example, will the military personnel under investigation be promoted at the next high command meeting scheduled for March this year?

The official discourse of the Armed Forces is that these were isolated attitudes that had no support from the institution. The facts point to the participation of the high command, and the coup very nearly did not take place.

The Armed Forces are melting down in the public square due to disbelief and mistrust. They need to take a stand with internal actions and not just be at the mercy of the facts ascertained by the judiciary or the Federal Police. If military justice is justified, it's time to give an account of what it will do with those (ir)responsible in uniform and how it will ensure that something similar never happens in the future. 

About Author

Maurício Ferro

What do soccer, wine, law, politics, and economics have in common? Much more than you can imagine. And contrary to what the popular saying says, they can and should be debated and analyzed, yes. Welcome to Maurício Ferro's site, a channel to create and exchange thoughts and opinions. Maurício Ferro is a lawyer, graduated from PUC university in Rio de Janeiro, with a Master's degree and specializations from universities such as the London School and the University of London. He studied OPM at Harvard Business School. Author of published works in the commercial and capital markets areas, and acting in the Board of Directors of large companies, he based his legal and executive career with a focus on Business Law. But his passion goes beyond the corporate world. A passionate Flamenguista, Mauricio knows the ins and outs of the professional world of soccer and other sports. He is a partner in innovative companies such as 2Blive, a global startup focused on technological solutions to fill the education gap, especially in areas of great need such as Africa. He also invests in the Flow Kana company, based in California, and focused on the scientific production of cannabis for various purposes, such as medicinal, clothing production, or recreational use. To all these ingredients, add a deep knowledge of wine and the delicious ways of winemaking. That is the recipe for what you will find here.


  • I completely agree...

  • Unfortunately, the theme of "Democracy" in our country has been lost, it only serves a few agendas and is used in whatever way suits the governments. This text elucidates the issue well, reminds us to keep our eyes open and be more participative in what happens here, even if it is exactly as Solomon the Qoheleth says: "Nothing new under the sun".

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