In The News…

Posted by Hilary Marie Johnson

Struggles over the fate of the DOPS building in Rio de Janeiro

Different groups are weighing in on what should be done to the building where for decades the infamous and now extinct Department of Political and Social Order  (DOPS) operated in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The building served as a theatre of horrors for numerous governments, from Getúlio Vargas to the civil-military regime. It served as a prison as well as a torture center for their opponents, including Marighela. The State Truth Commission of Rio de Janeiro has proposed that the building be transformed into a memorial to preserve the memory of the atrocities that occurred there in the spirit of Never again (in São Paulo, the former station house of the state political police is currently the site of the Memorial da Resistência). Governor Sérgio Cabral has promised to honor the the State Truth Commission’s proposal, but other more controversial proposals — such as turning the building into a shopping center, for example — have also emerged.

Brazil’s National Truth Commission uncovers secret documents

The National Truth Commission has located secret documents that directly link the disappearance of three leftist militants in Rio de Janeiro and two in Buenos Aires, all occurring at the end of 1973. This new information reinforces the theory that the Southern Cone intelligence services were cooperating against “subversion” even before Operation Condor, which would have began two years later. These papers, found in Brasília’s National Archives, shed new light on the vanishing of Jean Henri Raya Ribard, French, Antonio Pregoni, Argentine, and Caipuy Alves de Castro, Brazilian, in Copacabana on November 23rd, 1973. The papers were found by the Commission group that investigates Operation Condor, under the coordination of Attorney Rosa Cardoso.

New about the Argentine dictatorship discovered in Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, documents recording 280 secret meetings between members of the Argentine Armed Forces during the 7 years of military dictatorship (1976-1983) have been discovered. Argentine society now eagerly awaits answers to questions that have yet to be answered, despite the fact that the country has been democratic for three decades. The most pressing of questions deals with the location of thousands of people who had been disappeared, their bodies never found. The organization that located the documents is made up of mothers whose children were kidnapped during the dictatorship and were never again seen. The documents were found in the basement of an Aeronautics headquarters, according to Argentine Minster of Defense Agustín Rossi. Up until now, the vast majority of the information utilized for the so-called process of national reorganization in Argentina came from investigations that were conducted by the Department of Justice or formal complaints filed from relatives and friends of victims. The heads of the military council, tried and prosecuted, had never given up any of the details regarding how they planned their attacks.

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