General was criticized for submerging himself in a meeting about the coup – 02/10/2024 – Power

General was criticized for submerging himself in a meeting about the coup – 02/10/2024 – Power

Army Commander at the end of the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government, General Marco Antônio Freire Gomes, 66, was absent from office for a week in December 2022 after the death of his mother, Maria Freire Gomes.

Bolsonaro’s military allies used Freire Gomes’ removal to criticize him and accuse him of a lack of firmness — since, at the time he left Brasília, the former president was discussing plans for a coup d’état with his assistants.

The military crisis and mourning caused Freire Gomes to submerge, according to generals interviewed by Sheet. The turmoil was presented by the former commander as justification for handing over the position before Lula (PT) took office.

The position of the majority of the Army High Command against the coup, however, was already consolidated — and was passed on by Freire Gomes to Bolsonaro and allies who wanted to reverse the result of Lula’s election, according to military sources.

“Guilt for what is happening and will happen and [sic] by Gen. FREIRE GOMES. Omission and indecision are not the responsibility of a combatant”, wrote Braga Netto in a message found by the Federal Police. The former minister also called the military chief a “shit”.

The assessment of members of the Army leadership is that Freire Gomes articulated behind the scenes against Bolsonaro’s coup escalation. In contrast, Federal Police investigators are evaluating whether the military commander’s decision to remain silent about the anti-democratic plans that were being debated could constitute an omission.

Freire Gomes took over Command of the Army on March 31, 2022 — the anniversary of the 1964 military coup. To occupy the main post in the Force, he decided to refuse a pre-established agreement for him to be appointed minister of the STM (Superior Military Court).

It is common for four-star generals, who make up the Army’s High Command, to make internal arrangements to fill positions when they go into reserve. This was what was planned with generals Freire Gomes, Valério Stumpf (appointed as president of Poupex) and Estevam Theophilo (appointed as military advisor to Brazil’s representation at the UN, an agreement that ended up being cancelled).

In command of the Army, Freire Gomes had moments of closeness and distance from Bolsonaro. In August 2022, Soldier’s Day, for example, the general stated at an event with the former president that “unfounded and biased news” could not tarnish the image of the Force.

The speech was read as a nod to the critical press agenda promoted by Bolsonaro.

Freire Gomes also played a central role in defining the Army’s policy of not creating resistance to the establishment of coup camps in front of military organizations — such as the Force’s headquarters, in Brasília.

He told nearby generals that the decision was made by Bolsonaro, but did not present opposition. On the contrary, on November 11, Freire Gomes signed a note with the other military leaders in a tone critical of the Judiciary.

Back in Brasília after being away for family reasons, Freire Gomes was irritated on December 29 when the Military Police of the Federal District and the inspection agency carried out an operation to dismantle structures at the coup camp in Brasília.

The police were met with stones and sticks, and some people kicked the official cars. The operation was aborted.

With the escalation of tension, Freire Gomes called General Gustavo Dutra, head of the Planalto Military Command, and called him irresponsible and reckless. According to reports, the former commander also said that Bolsonaro would leave Brazil the next day — and a poorly planned dismantling operation could inflame tempers.

Shortly after his defeat in the election, Bolsonaro decided to remain isolated at the Palácio da Alvorada. Even his aide-de-camp, Mauro Cid, took advantage of the period to travel with his family and take unscheduled vacations to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Goiânia.

Freire Gomes, however, began to be called weekly for meetings with Bolsonaro, according to reports from generals and agendas from Palácio da Alvorada sent to the CPI on January 8.

During the meetings, according to the Federal Police, Freire Gomes heard plans for a coup d’état and saw the draft decree formulated by members of the Bolsonaro government.

“The president has received a lot of pressure to take a more, heavier measure, where he will, obviously, use the Forces, right? But he knows, he still continues with that idea that he left at the last meeting, but the pressure he receives from everyone. He is… He’s an agricultural guy. There are some deputies, right? That’s right… So the pressure he has received is very great. And today, what did he do this morning? He wiped out the decree right? Those ‘considerations’ that you saw and edited the decree, made a decree are much more summarized, right?”, said Mauro Cid to Freire Gomes, in a message sent on December 9, 2022.

A Sheet He tried to contact Freire Gomes, but received no response.

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