In the News…

Posted by David McCoy

A story in the Folha de São Paulo examines textbooks from military schools in Brazil to highlight some of their key departures from the generally accepted understanding of Brazilian history. One notable example describes the “revolution of 1964” (as opposed to coup) as being promoted by moderate groups that respected the law. Another example describes the Araguaia war (commonly referred to as a massacre) ending after the opposition leaders fled, but the account does not reference the death and disappearance of the guerrillas. The Ministry of Education affirmed that it could not interfere in the curriculum of the military schools, and the Ministry of Defense said that the material follows the pedagogical content of the institutions that train members of the armed forces. There are 12 military schools in Brazil with approximately 14,000 students. They teach students, many of whom are children of soldiers, from the sixth year of elementary school through the third year of high school.

The National Truth Commission has revamped its website in order to integrate the institution with social media sites. The Commission now has a Facebook page that users can “like” and follow, as well as a Twitter account and a YouTube channel. The site will soon have an ombudsman (ouvidoria) with a special space on the site for sending documents or testimonies directly to the Commission.  For more information, see the Commission’s press release.

Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro begins his mandate as the coordinator of the National Truth Commission tomorrow.  He will replace the current coordinator, Claudio Fonteles, and will serve for a three months, until May 16. Formerly, he served as the Secretary of State for Human Rights (Secretaria dos Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República, SDH). For more information see the press release from the Commission.

President Dilma Rousseff signed a decree proposed by the Ministry of Planning that increases the number of positions in the National Truth Commission from 14 to 24. The increase was requested by the members of the Commission. The new members occupy various positions, such as interns and consultants, and can be seen on the “Who is who?” page of the Commission’s site. For more information, see the Commission’s press release.

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