São Paulo 1965–1971 and Montevideo 1963–1973

Anthony James Joes

in Urban Guerrilla Warfare

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780813124377
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134833 | DOI:
São Paulo 1965–1971 and Montevideo 1963–1973

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When the armed forces took control of Brazil in 1964, they assumed a “moderator role,” allowing them to perform constitutional functions similar to the US Supreme Court. After the army removed the politically inept “Jango” Goulart from the presidency, the National Liberation Action (ALN) felt that the military wielded too much power and decided to wage an armed revolt against it in the city. Unable to gain mass support, the urban guerrillas fell to the military through the use of informants, interrogations, and other counterinsurgency techniques. By 1972, the leaders of the insurgency had either been arrested or killed, effectively ending the revolt. Meanwhile, the revolutionary movement in Uruguay was not borne out of a repressive regime but a general discontent about the country's economic difficulties. This environment gave rise to the Tupamaros, which aimed to duplicate the success of Fidel Castro in Cuba. The Tupamaros were able to penetrate the civil service, the police, and even the army, and this allowed them to rob banks, raid military facilities, and avoid capture. In 1971, Uruguay launched a series of anti-Tupamaro activities that led to the capture of their supreme leader the following year, eventually leading to their defeat. Although the Tupamaros were defeated, their actions managed to affect much-needed reforms in the country's traditional democratic system.

Keywords: Brazil; moderator role; Jango; Goulart; National Liberation Action; urban guerrillas; Tupamaros

Chapter.  7500 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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