In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

During an interview (17 November 2014), President of the National Truth Commission (CNV) Pedro Dallari disclosed that the CNV’s final report has concluded that former President Juscelino Kubitschek (1902-1976) died from a car accident.  On 19 November 2014, the Municipal Truth Commission of São Paulo and the São Paulo Chamber of Councilors have accused Pedro Dallari as conceding to the military. City councilman Gilberto Natalini (PV-SP) believes there is evidence that Juscelino Kubitschek was a victim of political attack.  Additionally, during the interview Pedro Dallari stated that approximately 100 military agents whom participated in human rights violations during the dictatorship are still alive and will be criminalized and punished.

In other news, incarcerated prisoners today continue to face mistreatment and in some cases become disappeared. The CNV’s final report includes a chapter with institutional recommendations for Brazil’s current prison system, another crucial step for the country’s democratic foundation.

In the Northeastern state of Bahia, the state truth commission has begun to distribute a report of the eleven political prisoner sites and thirteen sites of resistance in Salvador, during the military dictatorship. The report, being distributed to universities, libraries, archives and schools, represents a larger project for “historical memory and the consolidation of a Brazilian democracy against political violence”.

 

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

With less than a month before the final report is due, the National Truth Commission (CNV) continues to revise and adjust their official list of victims. After 29 months of research, there is still controversy surrounding the dictatorship, its victims and its legacy.

The Transitional Justice Branch of the Federal Prosecutors found a dossier of CNV members, including President Pedro Dallari, in the Central Military Hospital (HCE) in Benfica (Rio de Janeiro). The investigators had been given a lead that the hospital was hiding and destroying documents of killed political prisoners during the military dictatorship. The only information that was found regarding tortured political prisoners was of Raul Amaro Nin Ferreira (who died in 1971).

The Pernambuco Dom Helder State Truth and Memory Commission (CEMVDH) has received a report from the Amnesty Commission of 51 cases of human rights violations. 10 of the 51 are amnestied Pernambucanos.

Brazil’s 50 year anniversary of the coup continues to host cultural and educational programs throughout the country. This month, the project Mostra Marcas da Memória will be showing three films of Latin-American dictatorship in Itaú cinemas for free.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

At the 8th meeting on Brazilian Public Safety, it was determined that in the last five years, Brazilian police have killed more people than American police have in the last 30 years. Sociologist Renato Sérgio de Lima asserts that this is not a problem varying between individual officers, but an institutional phenomenon.

The Rio de Janeiro State Truth Commission (CEV-Rio) has postponed their visit to a former torture headquarters to 24 November 2014. The commission plans to take ex-prisoners from the dictatorship to the restored headquarters (which has been made into a Civil Police Museum) as a way to “transform the space as a space for memory”.

The National Truth Commission (CNV) has estimated that the Brazilian military regime was responsible for 421 assassinations or disappearances of people considered political adversaries during the dictatorial regime (1964-1985). Unfortunately, the report of the 421 victims does not guarantee legal punishment for those responsible.

However, at the same time there have been disagreements between the CNV and family members of those excluded from the CNV’s official list of victims. The 21 names excluded from the list include those who died abroad as exiles from Brazil, accidental deaths and deaths that have not been proven as directly caused by state repression.

Marxist intellectual Leandro Konder died at age 78 on 12 November 2014. He was a philosophy professor at Rio’s Catholic University (PUC-Rio). He sought exile in 1972 after being imprisoned and tortured, but returned to Brazil six years later.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

On 6 November 2014, the National Journalists Federation (Fenaj) gave a report to the Commission of Truth And Memory for Journalists, of 50 journalists persecuted during Brazil’s dictatorship. These fifty were eventually given amnesty. However, the commission has also investigated at least two dozen cases of journalists that have resulted in deaths.

The National Truth Commission’s (CNV) Final Report is scheduled to be finalized by 10 December 2014. The Worker’s Representatives of the CNV team (including unions and other entities) has proposed 43 recommendations for the report, including revising the Amnesty Law and punishing companies or businessman (private and public) who collaborated with the military dictatorship. The group also proposed creating its own organization, once the CNV dissolves after completing the final report, to monitor the way their recommendations are being addressed.

The Bahia State Truth Comission (CEV) will propose six recommendations for the final report. The recommendations include: the need to revise the amnesty law, the formation of a national organization that will monitor the final recommendations presented by the CNV and the need to create a national initiative on the importance of memory.  Meanwhile, the CNV remains divided on whether or not to revise the Amnesty Law.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

Leonardo Sakamoto, professor of journalism at PUC-SP attributes today’s violence from the Brazilian state to the inheritance of the repressive structures of the dictatorship. The National Truth Commission (CNV) investigates the deaths and disappearances that occurred before the 1988 Constitution-a time often times seen as a turning point for democracy. He challenges the assumption that a gradual and safe transition to democracy has occurred within Brazil and instead claims that the police forces in Brazil use tactics that are residual effects of the dictatorship.

On the other hand, José Otávio Nogueira Guiamrães, professor of History at Unb and a researcher in the institution’s truth commission, sees the creation of the CNV as an important step towards Brazil’s transition to justice and democracy. Although it has been a gradual transition, important stages include the amnesty law in 1979, the law of the disappeared in 1995, the creation of the Amnesty Commission and the statute of Political Amnesty and finally, the creation of the CNV in 2011.

Moreover, on the 7th November 2014 Pedro Dallari (President of the CNV) commented on the several protestors asking for the impeaching of President Dilma and the return of a military regime (manifestation occurred on the 1st November 2014). “I believe that Brazil has solidified into democracy and people have exaggerated a little”. Dallari says the solution to society’s (the protestors) discontent must be found within democracy, a huge win for the history of Brazil.

The final report of the CNV is scheduled to be finished on 10 December 2014 and although the report has not been finalized, Pedro Dallari has stated that the report’s principal ideas have been defined. The CNV will explicitly recommend that workers of the state who committed human rights violations should formally take responsibility of their actions. Additionally, based on all of its research, the CNV will provide a list of names of those workers in the final report.

In related news, on the 3rd November 2014, the Federal Bar Association (OAB) created a national truth commission for Black Slavery in Brazil. The Commission will research the history of African slaves brought to Brazil and their descendants and examine the repercussions of inequality (political, economic, cultural) that Afro-descendants face today in Brazil.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

The Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship has distributed an educational kit “50 years after the Coup-the Right to Memory and Truth” to 52 municipal schools. The kit contains educational books and documentaries about the dictatorship and its transition into democracy.

The São Paulo State Truth Commission “Rubens Paiva” will launch the book “Infância Roubada: crianças atingidas pela Ditadura no Brasil” (Robbed Childhood: children who were stricken by Brazil’s dictatorship) on the 5th of November 2014. The book is the result of several hearings in May 2013 that focused on the stories of mothers and children of political prisoners and disappeared during the dictatorship.

On 31 October 2014, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) stated that Brazil has the obligation to sentence those responsible for the forced disappearance of Brazilians during the military dictatorship. The international institution issued a similar statement in 2010 regarding the Araguaia case (1972-1974) and specifically prohibited Brazil from using the Amnesty Law, instead requesting the direct trial of those guilty of forced disappearances, torture and murder.

Moreover, Judge Baltasar Garzón participated in the International Congress of Human Rights in Florianópolis and voiced strong critiques regarding the “auto amnesty” of the Brazilian military. The Spanish Judge has had a strong presence in international cases of crimes against humanity, including issuing the prison mandate of former dictator of Chile Augusto Pinochet [while he was in London for surgery], taking military torturers to trial in Argentina, investigating crimes during the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco and seeking investigation of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his connection with Operation Condor.

On 1 November 2014, six days after the reelection of President Dilma Rousseff (PT), close to 2.500 people in São Paulo protested the electoral results. During the protest, there were a number of invocations of the dictatorship and the 1964 coup. Paulo Martins, who ran for Congress in the state of Paraná, told the crowd of protestors through a megaphone, “It’s undeniable that the PT is creating a dictatorship in our country”. Police investigator Sérgio Salgi, 46, said that “it’s necessary to return to militarism.”

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

The Amnesty Commission has delivered a report to the Rio de Janeiro State Truth Commission, identifying workers that suffered political persecution and human rights violations from the military government in the state of Rio de Janeiro. This is the first report from a series of investigations that will be delivered within the next few weeks examining workers throughout all of Brazil.

On 22 October 2014, the University of São Paulo held a discussion regarding the institution’s support of the military dictatorship after the 1964 coup. Professor of Law, Dalmo Dallari states that conservative groups began to act even before 1964. For example, famous architect Oscar Niemeyer (who built Brasília) was denied a position in the university because he was a “dangerous communist”.  Intellectuals and academic leaders who were already established faculty were also targeted by the military regime, especially in departments such as sociology and philosophy.

Although, homophobia and transphobia did not originate during Brazil’s military dictatorship, James Green (Brown University) and Renan Quinalha (São Paulo State Truth Commission) claim that the dictatorship permitted and regulated violent persecution of people identified within LGBT community.

In other news, on 4 November 2014, ex-political prisoners Maurice Politi and Flávio Tavares will present their literature at the 60th Book fair in Porto Alegre. The book fair is being put together by the Minister of Culture, the State Secretariat of Culture and the Rio-Grandense Book Chamber and will last from 31 October until 16 November 2014.  Additionally, the International Coalition of Sites of Consciousness and the Amnesty Commission will be hosting the International Congress on Memory: Foundations of Transitional Justice and Human rights in São Paulo from 2 November until 5 November 2014.

 

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