15:09 14 November 2013
The remains of former Brazilian president Joao Goulart have been exhumed following claims that he was killed on orders of the military regime, which once ruled the country, and not because of heart attack as previously stated.
The exhumation was led by Brazil’s Truth Commission, which is tasked in investigating human rights abuses committed during the nation’s military dictatorship. Goulart was toppled by a 1964 coup, which ruled the country for 21 years.
The former Brazilian president, who was also known as Jango, went into exile in Argentina and died in December 1976. His remains were buried in Sao Borja beside family members.
Although a post-mortem examination was never performed, his death was ruled as heart attack.
His grandson, Christopher Goulart, is convinced that the death of his grandfather was suspicious. He told Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo: "We can't deny the existence of documents, declarations and testimonials.”
Claims that Goulart was murdered stemmed from a statement made by Mario Neira who was imprisoned in Brazil for drug smuggling. He claimed that agents of Operation Condor had poisoned the former president. He added that Goulart’s heart medication had been swapped with poisoned pills that caused a heart attack.