04/19/2021

Behind Brazilian defense minister, high-ranking officials also resign

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The resignation of the military commanders took place after the defense minister of that nation was dismissed.

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday the resignation of three Armed Forces commanders: Edson Pujol, Army, Ilques Barbosa, Navy, and Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez, Aeronautics.

The resignation came after the dismissal of Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva, which was interpreted by members of the Armed Forces as an attempt by President Jair Bolsonaro to incriminate the military.

Surprised, the commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force held a meeting on Monday afternoon, where they discussed an unprecedented collective resignation, but until press time it was not defined.

The announcement comes after Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva, who was replaced by General Walter Souza Braga Netto, left office on Monday.

Brazilian media attribute Bolsonaro to having pressured Azevedo to get the Armed Forces to become more involved in government affairs, but the military would have opposed it. “During this period, I preserved the Armed Forces as an institution of the State,” Azevedo said on Monday after announcing his departure.