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Clerics, Exiles, and Academics: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States, 1969–1974

  • James N. Green

Abstract

Virtually no one in the United States raised objections to the 1964 military takeover of the Brazilian civilian government. In the early 1970s, however, the Brazilian regime had become associated with torture and the arbitrary rule of law. By the end of that decade, compliance with human rights standards had developed into a yardstick for measuring U.S. foreign policy initiatives in Latin America. This paper argues that between 1969 and 1974, a small group of dedicated church activists, exiled Brazilians, and academics introduced the issue of human rights in Latin America into the U.S. national body politic. A network of concerned activists fashioned a systematic campaign to educate journalists, government officials, and the public about the abuses taking place under the generals' rule. Their activities helped isolate the military regime and laid the groundwork for a broader solidarity movement with Latin American popular struggles in the late 1970s and 1980s.

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