In The News…

By David McCoy

On the 8th of October, Ophir Cavalcante, president of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil (OAB), announced the creation of a truth commission by the Order. The OAB Truth Commision will work alongside the National Truth Commission, which had already declared that it would be formally cooperating with the OAB as an entity, in August.

New documents were discussed in a series of reports by TV Brasil regarding the establishment of Operation Condor, an agreement to coordinate repression and anti-subversive activity among military officers in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile.  Operation Condor was thought to have commenced in 1975 after a meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile. A key finding from the new documents is evidence that military officers held meetings in 1970 in which they began coordinating actions. Agência Brasil released a story on the new documents as well.

On the 17th of October, the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil accused the ex-colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, as well as one retired and one active officer of the civil police, of kidnapping. This is the second accusation against Ustra, who was the commander of the infamous DOI-CODI facility, where many of the incidences of torture took place, between 1970 and 1974. The three men are accused of kidnapping  a stock-broker named Edgar de Aquino. The accused could receive sentences of two to eight years, bringing in to question whether or not the case will fall under the Amnesty Law.

Also on the 17th of October, as described in an article by Estadão, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro approved a project that formalizes the creation of a state truth commission, pending its sanctioning by the governor, Sérgio Cabral Filho. The legislation became controversial because one of the state deputies, Flávio Bolsonaro, had repeatedly maneuvered to have the legislation blocked. Flávio Bolsonaro is the son of the federal deputy and retired captain Jair Bolsonaro, and, during the debate over the legislature, he cited the names of 13 civil and military personnel that were harmed in action by leftist guerilla groups during the years of the dictatorship.

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