Brazil weighs exhuming ex-president Goulart

Brazilian prosecutors said Friday they were considering a request to exhume an ousted president's remains to determine if he was killed in the 1970s under a plan by rightwing rulers to suppress dissent.

Joao Goulart served as president from 1961-1964, and was ousted in a military coup. He took refuge in Uruguay and Argentina, where he died in 1976. The official account says it was a heart attack.

The military went on to rule in Brazil from 1964-1985.

Since 2007, prosecutors have been probing whether Goulart was poisoned as part of the Condor Plan -- a coordinated effort by military rulers in Argentina, Brazil and Chile to silence leftist dissent.

The request to exhume the remains of Goulart was made last month in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

No order has yet been issued to dig up the remains.

But a grandson of Goulart, Christopher Goulart, said it could come in the next three months.

Two years ago, Chile exhumed the remains of former president Salvador Allende, hoping to determine whether he committed suicide or was murdered during a 1973 coup.

Chilean medical experts later concluded that Allende had killed himself on the day of the coup, confirming an official version of events by aides who said the former president had vowed to die with weapons drawn.