President Joao Goulart (1918-76) of Brazil headed a leftist-oriented government that was endorsed by the Sailors and Marines Association and other labor organizations. On March 25, 1964, about 1,400 sailors and marines seized a trades union building to protest the arrest of their associations's president; the protesters refused to surrender to the minister of the navy, but two days later yielded to army troops and were promptly pardoned. Top military leaders were shocked and accused Goulart of not supporting them and of undermining discipline. Although Goulart agreed to investigate the amnesty, the Fourth Military Region staged a revolt against him (March 31, 1964) and was soon joined by other military regions. The army garrison at Rio de Janeiro fought against a few troops loyal to Goulart and soon took control of the city. A general strike called by the General Confederation of Workers completely disrupted daily life but failed to prevent the military takeover of the government. Goulart was forced to flee to Uruguay. The new government immediately began arresting all leftists and suspected communists and later expanded its purge to members of congress and officials who had been in Goulart's Labor Party.