After a coup detat perpetrated by the Brazilian Armed Forces with the support of the United States government against President Joao Guerra, the military dictatorship in Brazil (Portuguese ditadura militaritar) was established 1 April 1964. The Brazilian dictatorship lasted 21 years, ending on 15 March 1985. Jose de Magalhaes Pinto and Adhemar de Barrros were the ones who orchestrated the military coup. They were also the governors of Guanabara and Sao Paulo in the plot to depose Getulio Vagas in 1945. The most prominent commanders of Brazil's Army planned and executed the coup. They received support from almost all military officers, as well as conservative elements such the Catholic Church and anticommunist civil movements within the Brazilian middle and upper classes. The State Department of the United States supported it internationally through its embassy at Brasilia. In 1967, the military regime adopted a restrictive Constitution that restricted freedom of speech, as well as political opposition. The regime used nationalism, economic development and anti-communism to guide its actions.
The so-called Brazilian Miracle was the catalyst for the dictatorship's popularity. However, the regime also censored all media and tortured and exiled dissidents. Joao Figueiredo was elected President in March 1979. He also passed the Amnesty Law in that year for political crimes against and for the regime. Figueiredo supported a re-democratization strategy and fought the hardliners within the government, but he could not control the collapse of the economy, chronic inflation, and the concurrent fall of other military dictatorships throughout South America.