In the News…

Posted by David McCoy

The Amnesty Law of 1979 was recently referenced in a story involving the The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and its power to control judicial outcomes in Brazil. Brazilian politicians who were convicted by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) for their involvement in the mensalão scandal announced that they would attempt to have their sentences challenged in the IACHR, which spurred a response from  Diego García-Sayán, the Purvian president of the IACHR, which resides in San Jose, Costa Rica.

García-Sayán declared that the IACHR is not a higher court in which the sentences of national supreme courts can be overruled or reduced. In an interview with Valor Econômico, García-Sayán was pressed about what this declaration meant in regard to the 2010 ruling by the IACHR that the Amnesty Law of 1979 was invalid and that Brazil would have to investigate the disappearances of the Araguaia guerrilla movement case. García-Sayán responded that there are a thousand ways that Brazil could comply with the ruling and the court is in communication with state to see what is taking place.

In response to the question of whether or not the establishment of the National Truth Commission sufficiently carried out the sentence, García-Sayán said that he would rather not comment on the case as it is still being supervised by the IACHR. However, he noted that full compliance with a case as complex as the that of the Amnesty Law ruling can take a long time. The Brazilian Army posted the story, which is titled, “San Jose Is Not a Higher Court [instância] for Revising Sentences.”

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