General Ernesto Geisel on Friday (March 15) became Brazil's fourth military President since armed forces ousted the civilian government in 1964.
General Ernesto Geisel on Friday (March 15) became Brazil's fourth military President since armed forces ousted the civilian government in 1964. Representatives from 89 nations watched General Geisel receive the sash of office from his predecessor, General Emilio Garrastazu Medici, in a simple ceremony at Brazilia's congress building.
General Geisel, aged 65, is the son of German immigrants who came to Brazil from Stuttgart. He is expected to pursue the policies of previous military heads of state -- policies based on the belief that Brazil's development is based on social and political stability.
But he is expected to pay attention to charges of brutal and arbitrary police measures, including the use of torture. In fact, during Friday's ceremony, Congressmen distributed copies of a protest that a newspaper bureau chief has been tortured in north-east Brazil.
Three other heads of state attended the swearing in ceremony - General Augusto Pinochet, leader of Chile's ruling junta; General Hugo Banner of Bolivia; and President Juan Maria Bordaberry of Uruguay. And within twenty-four hours, the leaders of these South American states joined with Brazil and announced they planned closer economic links and a rapid effort to settle current disagreements.