The Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Dias Toffoli gave the federal government and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) five days to express their views on decrees that allow the military police to be summoned by the Armed Forces. The lawsuit, filed by PSB, PV, Solidariedade, PCdoB, PSOL and Rede Sustentabilidade, asks for the suspension of two decrees, from 1969 and 1983.
The resolutions in question are from the time of the military dictatorship. The parties claim that the texts are incompatible with the Federal Constitution of 1988.
The acronyms explain that the objective is to rule out any legal interpretation that may serve as an attempt to support “the possibility of directly calling police forces from the states of the Federation to act under command and subordination to the federal government or the Armed Forces for the purpose of alleged maintenance or restraint of public order”.
The parties argue that Decree 667, of 1969, “establishes as a central premise of the organizational structure of the military police their subordination and control by the Ministry of the Army”, with the possibility of summoning by the federal government the police forces of the states “to attend to the chances of foreign war”.
The acronyms also point out that Decree No. 88,540, of 1983, which regulates the events of summons, manifests incompatibility with the 1988 Constitution by granting broad powers over the PMs to the federal government, when the Magna Carta itself provides for the subordination of the military police to the governors.
“The intensification of the political-electoral dispute in the country is a well-known fact, and the threats and bravado uttered by the President of the Republic in disregard of the institutional discipline provided for in the Federal Constitution are not rare. On several occasions, the highest authority of the Republic treated the Armed Forces of the Brazilian State as an instrument at the service of its political group, even referring to ‘my army’ against administrative acts by state governments”, defend the captions.
President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) has already referred to the Army as “my Army” on more than one occasion, as in May last year, amid decisions by state and municipal managers to close businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. . “My army only goes out to the streets to keep your freedom. Never to keep you indoors,” he said.
The possibility of Bolsonaro being backed by the military police is a constant issue when addressing the climate of political upheaval in a possible defeat of the president in this year’s elections.
The report found that the issue is a concern even for other nations, such as the United Kingdom. Interlocutors from the British government have already stated that they understand that Bolsonaro does not have the support of the Armed Forces in the event of an attempt at institutional rupture, but they fear that he will have the support of the PMs.
Last year, on the eve of the September 7 demonstrations, the Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) even recommended to the DF Public Security Secretariat and to the General Command of the Military Police that active-duty off-duty PMs be prohibited from participating in the demonstrations.