1974 CIA Memo: Brazil’s Former Dictator Personally Approved Summary Executions

HeadlineMay 14, 2018

A newly unearthed CIA memo from 1974 details how Brazil’s former dictator Ernesto Geisel personally approved execution of his political opponents, who were labeled “subversives.” The document was sent by then-CIA Director William Colby to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It details a meeting in which Brazil’s top generals informed the dictator about a policy of more than 100 summary executions carried out by military intelligence the previous year. A week later, according to the memo, the dictator told his generals “the policy should continue but that great care should be taken to make certain that only dangerous subversives were executed.” The memo’s revelations have sparked widespread outcry in Brazil.

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