In The News…

Posted by Hilary Marie Johnson

The bill that would revise the Amnesty Law to exclude state security agents accused of human rights crimes continues to make its way through the proper channels. Senator Randolfe Rodrigues insists that the push on modifying the Amnesty Law does not come from a desire for revenge, but rather to show that Brazil is a country that will no longer tolerate crimes against humanity, such as torture. He also states that the dictatorship has left in its wake a highly aggressive military police force, one that is consistently in violation of human rights. Senator João Capiberibe (PSB-AP), himself a victim of torture during the military dictatorship, also supports the revision. A poll taken on March 31st shows that 46% of Brazilians disapprove of how the Law is currently interpreted.

Brazil’s Congress now has until June to not shut down the National Truth Commission. The Provisional Measurement edited by President Dilma Rousseff last year would allow the National Truth Commission to continue until December, but if it is not voted on by June 2nd, it will lapse. The Provisional Measurement was supposed to be voted on last week. Human Rights groups believe that it is the delay in Congress that is responsible for making the National Truth Commission’s future uncertain.

Approximately 40 people participated in a demonstration in front of the Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo on the 50th anniversary of the coup of 1964. Organized by Frente Esculacho Popular, the act was in protest of the entity that the group believes financed and supported the military dictatorship. The protesters were comprised of former political prisoners, relatives of the disappeared, and representatives of the State Truth Commission.

More than 700 schools in Brazil are named after presidents during the dictatorship, an UOL survey in conjunction with school census information states. The states of Bahia (138) and Maranhão (99) possess the highest number of these schools, followed by Pernambuco (51), Rio Grande do Sul (44), and Minas Gerais (42). The Federal District does not have any such schools.

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