A Brief History of Brazil’s Dictatorship and Transitional Justice Process

The Brazilian military dictatorship lasted from 1964 to 1985. For the first ten years following the formal transition to democracy, the State took few steps to reckon with human rights abuses committed under the previous authoritarian regime. In 1995, the Law of the Disappeared recognized State responsibility in the deaths and disappearances of 474 people and instituted a federal reparations commissions to compensate the families of the victims. In 2010, the Brazilian Supreme Court upheld the prevailing interpretation of the Amnesty Law shielding security agents from criminal prosecution; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States subsequently found this interpretation to be in violation of Brazil’s international treaty obligations. Currently, the country is in the process of creating a National Truth Commission to investigate dictatorship-era crimes against humanity. This blog is dedicated to exploring the Brazilian transitional justice process by covering the latest developments, highlighting articles in the Portuguese and English-language media, and publishing original content, including interviews.

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