In the News…

Posted by David McCoy

Cláudio Fonteles, the coordinator of the National Truth Commission, commented on several important issues in an interview with Globo published on the 25 of December. Below are some  highlights:

What kind of score do you give the Truth Commission for the first year, in reality, the first seven months?

A very positive score. The principal purpose was to establish a high degree of participatory dialogue with society, and we achieved concrete gains in this sense. We traveled to diverse areas of the country, debated with society and official institutions about the time period, all while having the objective that we Brazilians will never again have to solve our conflicts with a military dictatorship that is gruesome, violent, and murderous. Because of this, it is important that we create a great protective network for democracy.

The Commission has already spoken of the difficulty in obtaining documents from the military.  How is this relationship?

The relationship is one of dialogue. We asked the Defense Minister (Celso Amorim) for clarification of concrete facts, dealing with concrete situations. There has been very frank dialogue with the minister and the military commanders. This was done recently. There is a deadline, and we expect that those answers will provide clarification.

What will be the biggest challenge of the coming year for the Commission?

We will not falter. Before, I had a mistaken view of a public archive, but it is never too late to learn in life. My idea was that it was worthless paper. At the risk of being redundant, “archives” was meaningless and just took up space in warehouses. But that is not the case! I learned that it is an inexhaustible source of knowledge. I want to remain enthused by this even after the Commission ends, because the Commission will end, but we will continue defending democracy.

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