Brazil’s Defense Minister, José Viegas, has resigned, sharply criticizing the country’s army over its recent statement defending a crackdown on opponents during the country’s 1964 to 1985 dictatorship.
José Viegas will be replaced temporarily by the country’s Vice President José Alencar.
In a resignation letter released Thursday, Mr. Viegas denounced Brazil’s army for what he said was the “continuation of authoritarian thinking.”
His comments come just weeks after the army issued a statement defending the use of violence during military rule as a “legitimate answer” to political dissent.
The army statement was in response to the publication of a photograph in a Brazilian newspaper that depicted an alleged political prisoner killed by the military in 1975.
The photograph prompted the Brazilian government to consider opening military archives from the era.