Brazil, National Security Law

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Brazil, National Security Law

The National Security Law was a legal justification for the Brazilian military junta's crackdown on political opposition. Established on 29 September 1969, the law gave the government vast discretion in defining crimes against national security and allowed detention for up to twenty days without charge. Prohibited conduct included fomenting class struggle, distributing subversive propaganda, engaging in public strikes, and inciting collective disobedience. Criminal sanctions prevented journalists and editors from reporting events or opinions that violated the national security law. The numerous arrests under this law, frequently accompanied by torture, created a climate of fear that sustained the power of Brazil's authoritarian regime for over a decade.

See alsoBrazil, National Security Doctrine .


Peter Flynn, Brazil: A Political Analysis (1972).

Maria Helena Moreia Alves, State and Opposition in Military Brazil (1985).

Thomas E. Skidmore, The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964–85 (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Pereira, Anthony W. Political (In)Justice: Authoritarianism and the Rule of Law in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.

Reznik, Luís. Democracia e segurança nacional: A polícia política no pós-guerra. Rio de Janeiro: FGV, 2004.

                                          Michael A. Poll

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Brazil, National Security Law

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