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Castelo Branco, Humberto de Alencar

Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco

b. 20 Sep 1900, Messejana, Ceará
d. 18 Jul 1967, Mondumbim, Ceará

Title: Presidente da República (President of the Republic)
Term: 15 Apr 1964 - 15 Mar 1967
Chronology: 11 Apr 1964, elected by the electoral college consisted of all members of the National Congress [1]
  15 Apr 1964, took the oath of office at the session of the National Congress, Congressional Palace, meeting hall of the Chamber of Deputies, Brasília [2]
  22 Jul 1964, presidential term extended to 15 Mar 1967 by a constitutional amendment (Emenda Constitucional N.º 9) [3]
  15 Mar 1967, presidential functions expired

The son of a high-ranked military officer, Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco studied at the military schools of Porto Alegre and Realengo. During World War II he was a member of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force and fought in the Italian campaign (1944-1945). Castelo Branco served as deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, commander of the General Staff School and department head in the Higher War College. He was promoted to general in 1962 and held the posts of commander of the Fourth Army in Recife, Pernambuco (1962-1963) and Chief of the General Staff of the Brazilian Army (1963-1964). Castelo Branco was one of the principal leaders of the military movement in 1964 that resulted in deposition of President João Goulart. Castelo was the first president installed by the military regime, which governed Brazil in 1964-1985. The government of Castelo Branco focused on consolidating the foundations of a new regime. Elected to complete the presidential term of 1961-1966, Castelo Branco obtained from the National Congress a constitutional amendment (22 Jul 1964) extending the presidential term to 15 Mar 1967. In 1965 new institutional acts were promulgated extending the executive's authority. On 27 Oct 1965 the Institutional Act No. 2 suspended thirteen existing political parties and instituted indirect election of president and vice president. The Complementary Act No. 4 (20 Nov 1965) introduced the two-party political system including the pro-governmental National Renewal Alliance Party (Arena) and a formal opposition party, Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB). After the opposition candidates won governor seats in the key states of Guanabara and Minas Gerais, the government issued the Institutional Act No. 3 (5 Feb 1966), which provided for indirect elections of the governors and state capital mayors. In 1966 the wide opposition to the Castelo Branco regime was highlighted by a series of student demonstrations against the government, but in the parliamentary election (15 Nov 1966) Arena won a clear majority of popular vote. Backed by legitimate support in the Congress, the Castelo government strengthened the military regime by introducing a law for control of the press and a revised national security law. The new constitution increasing the power of the federal government over the states was promulgated on 24 Jan 1967 and went into effect on the day when Castelo's successor, Artur da Costa e Silva, was sworn in (15 Mar 1967). Castelo Branco died in a plane accident four months later. Biography source: [4]


Candidate Electoral vote (11 Apr 1964)
Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco 361
Juarez do Nascimento Fernandes Távora 3
Eurico Gaspar Dutra 2
abstentions 72
absent 37
Sources for election results: Diário do Congresso Nacional, Domingo, 12 de Abril 1964, N.° 3, p. 106; Dicionário do voto (2000)

[1] Diário do Congresso Nacional, Domingo, 12 de abril de 1964, N.° 3, pp. 93-106
[2] Diário do Congresso Nacional, Quinta-feira, 16 de abril de 1964, N.° 4, pp. 126-127
[3] Diário Oficial, Seção I - Parte I, Sexta-feira, 24 de julho de 1964, pp. 6593-6594.
[4] Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico Brasileiro (1984)
  Image: contemporary photograph.