In The News…

Posted by Robyn Smith 

The National Truth Commission received information during last Monday’s (the 9th) regularly scheduled meeting that included a comprehensive list of the existing torture sites in the country. Heloise Starling, historian and an adviser for the commission, has confirmed 83 torture facilities that spread across 5 regions of the country. The Truth Commission plans to have a meeting with all 40 “truth commissions” later this year and will be hearing specifically from the São Paulo and Rio commission next month.

Photos of Ruy Carlos Vieira Berbert’s body were found 24 years after his death, once again due to the Lei de Acesso à Informação (Access to Information Act). Berbert, a guerrilla imprisoned in the interior  Tocantins, disappeared in 1972 and was left listed as missing until 1992. In 1992 DOPS São Paulo released his arrest records and that is was suspected that he had committed suicide to his family. The opening of the national archives has revealed that 3 military governments and 2 civilian governments had records of his death, complete with photos, and had not informed the family. The Estado uncovered this grievance, the photos of Berbert’s body and the complete story in Portuguese can be found at this link. In reaction to this finding, the Truth Commission has decided to reopen their case on Berbert, this being a landmark decision as it is the first reopening of  a case heard by the commission. The Truth Commission will be moving to DNA samples from the victims families in their search for the bodies seen in the photographs found by Estado.

The Truth Commission has invited notorious Coronel Ustra to appear before them. This follows Gilberto Natalini, a member of the resistance, coming forward and claiming Ustra was behind his torture.

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