Who are the 4-star generals targeted by the PF operation – 02/08/2024 – Power

Who are the 4-star generals targeted by the PF operation – 02/08/2024 – Power

The Federal Police found messages on the cell phones of lieutenant colonel Mauro Cid and others under investigation that show that at least six general officers of the Armed Forces discussed with former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) the issuance of a coup decree against the election of Lula (PT).

Those named in the request to the STF (Supreme Federal Court) to carry out searches and arrests are: general Braga Netto (Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential candidate), general Estevam Theophilo (former head of the Land Operations Command), general Freire Gomes (former Army commander), General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira (former Defense Minister) and Admiral Almir Garnier (former Navy commander).

General Estevam Cals Theophilo Gaspar de Oliveira was head of the Army’s Land Operations Command until December 1, 2023, the day he held a ceremony to enter the Force’s paid reserve.

Army reserve general Luiz Eduardo Rocha Paiva –classmate and friend of former commander Villas Bôas and seen as a kind of intellectual formulator among his peers– published on Facebook, in July 2022, an article predicting “the moral ruin of the nation and institutions” in the event of Lula’s (PT) victory in the following October elections.

The text was shared by the then Minister of Defense, Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira. When asked about it, the general stated: “The text is very good”, and its author “is one of the greatest intelligences in the history of the Army”.

Find out more about generals affected by the PF operation:


Target of the operation launched this Thursday (8) by the Federal Police, Paulo Sérgio is a crystal clear example of how senior officers of the Armed Forces acted politically for Bolsonarism.

When he began to act as a militant, the general was in reserve, but his immediately previous position was that of Army commander – it was in this condition, in fact, that he exempted General Eduardo Pazuello from punishment for having stood on a platform together with Bolsonaro. The omission is considered the greatest affront to hierarchy and discipline in the Army’s recent history.

As Minister of Defense, Paulo Sérgio was one of the leaders of the Bolsonaro crusade against the electronic voting system, formulating sometimes absurd questions and repeatedly casting doubt on the security of electronic voting machines.

Paulo Sérgio is 1 of the 5 four-star general officers – the top of the military career – affected by the PF operation. The others are generals Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, Walter Souza Braga Neto, Estevam Cals Theóphilo Gaspar de Oliveira – the three from the Army – and Admiral Almir Garnier dos Santos, former commander of the Navy.


Augusto Heleno is the one who has been at Bolsonaro’s side since the beginning of his project to run for president in 2018. Once elected, the retired captain appointed him chief minister of the GSI (Institutional Security Office). In office, Heleno was a fervent activist, issuing notes threatening coups and fueling attacks against institutions.

The GSI team that failed to prevent the invasion of the Palácio do Planalto was made up of several remnants of Heleno’s administration. This was, in fact, one of the points presented by the CPMI on January 8th in Congress to request its indictment.


Braga Netto was commander of the federal intervention in public security in Rio de Janeiro and chief of the Army General Staff before going into reserve and joining the Bolsonaro government, in which he held the position of minister of the Civil House (when he centralized the reaction disastrous effort by the government in combating the pandemic) and by Defense.

Chosen by Bolsonaro as his vice candidate in the 2022 elections, he encouraged protesters who contested the results of the elections, an attitude publicly criticized by minister Gilmar Mendes, of the STF (Supreme Federal Court).

“There are certainly authorities [das Forças Armadas] that somehow encouraged [o 8 de Janeiro]. I remember a phrase from General Braga [Netto] telling those protesters that they had faith and therefore promising some type of evolution, just a few days before these developments”, he said. Gilmar told Sheet.


Recently retired, General Estevam Cals Theóphilo is former head of the Amazon Military Command and Coter (Army Land Operations Command). He is identified behind the scenes in the Army as one of the most Bolsonaro supporters among the members of the corporation’s High Command in the last years of the Bolsonaro government – therefore during the 8th of January.

The Federal Police concluded from messages from Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid that Teophilo met with Bolsonaro and agreed to carry out the measures that would culminate in the consummation of the coup d’état.

From a traditional military family, Teophilo is the brother of fellow four-star general (reserve) Guilherme Teophilo, candidate for governor of Ceará by the PSDB in 2018 and national secretary of Public Security during Sergio Moro’s tenure at the Ministry of Justice.


Admiral Almir Garnier is considered the one who acted most politically in favor of Bolsonaro among the last military commanders of the Armed Forces of the last government. It was he who organized a military parade on the Esplanada on the day that Congress voted on a project to make the vote printed – the Bolsonarist flag.

According to Mauro Cid’s statement, Garnier spoke in favor of the draft coup formulated after Bolsonaro’s defeat to Lula – a decree to call new elections that included the arrest of opponents.

The CPI on January 8th in Congress requested the indictment of four of the five four-star generals affected by this Thursday’s PF operation – the exception being Teophilo.

This Thursday’s operation is the closest to high-ranking military personnel since investigations into January 8 began.

While at the top of the Military Police of the Federal District several commanders were arrested, no senior officer of the Armed Forces was held accountable — despite the collusion or encouragement in relation to the coup camps in front of the Army Headquarters in Brasília or the omission in relation to to the protection of the Planalto Palace.

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