In The News…

Posted by Robyn Smith 

Araguaia massacre victim Maria Lucia Petit, whose body was the first to be recovered and identified, will be honored on June 28th at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo. She will be awarded the Beth Lobo Award for Human Rights for Women. Petit, a student who had been actively involved in the student resistance protests in São Paulo, joined her two brothers in the Araguaia guerrilla movement and was gunned down by the army troops when approaching a house for food. Her sister will receive the award in her honor.

Cláudio Guerra, the former DOPS agent turned pastor, came before the Truth Commission Monday, the 26th of June, and confirmed the facts presented in the book “Memórias de uma Guerra Suja” written by journalists Marcelo Netto e Rogério Medeiro . He specifically refereed to the insineration of 10 bodies in an oven at a sugar plantation located in the interior of Rio, the same story he recounted to the newspaper, the Estado de São Paulo, several months prior. Guerra also provided the Truth Commission with the names of several other former DOPS agents who can further shed light on the situation. He claims DOPS is behind the deaths of  delegate Sergio Fleury and journalist Alexandre von Baumgarten, though his testimony has been questioned as it runs contrary to that of other agents. The Truth Commission coordinator, Gilson Dipp, said 74 year old retired lieutenant colonel Paul Malhães is the next military personnel to come before the commission. Malhães is being called as a result of his report given to a popular Brazilian newspaper regarding a  detention house in Petrópolis (RJ) were he worked that used alligators and boa constrictors in torture routines.

The Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (the Order of Lawyers of Brazil) of São Paulo announced that they will beholding their own truth commission. The commission will be made up of lawyers, several of which have already accepted the invitation,  who defended human right during the dictatorship. The commission is designed to complement the National Truth Commission.

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