Biography of Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco (1900-1967)

Military and Brazilian politician, born in Mecejena in 1900 and died 67 years later in Fortaleza. He held the Presidency of the Republic between 1964 and 1967.

Son of a general of Brigade, Castello Branco began his military education at the military College of Porto Alegre and at the Military Academy of Realengo in Rio de Janeiro and completed his career in France and United States. During the second world war he participated in the campaign of Italy as a member of the Brazilian expeditionary force and rose in the hierarchy military to become general in 1961.

Chief of the General staff of the army during the Government of Joao Goulart, Castello Branco became in 1964 in one of the leaders of the military coup that forced the ouster of the President. On April 11 of that same year he held the Presidency of the Republic and set up a military regime that would last for more than two decades in the country. Throughout his tenure, he enacted a new Constitution that granted greater privileges to the President, adopted strong measures restrictive of political rights, dissolved the parties setting up the two-party system, intervened in the trade unions, introduced indirect elections and created the national system of information. In March 1967, his defence Minister replaced Artur da Costa e Silva in the Presidency. Four months later, Castello Branco died in a plane crash.