In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

Next Friday, the 26th of September, the Amnesty Commission will investigate a claim put forth by the Suruí Indigenous from the state of Pará, of having been victims of the dictatorship.  According to the fifteen Suruís, the military forced the Suruís to guide them through the jungles of Brazil in search of guerrilla fighters from 1972-1975 and suffered abuse, torture and lack of food and water.

The Amnesty Commission has forwarded the legal petition for disappeared politician Honestino Guimarães to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF).  Guimarães was the ex-president of the National Student Union (UNE) and a militant member of the Ação Popular (Popular Action) during the military dictatorship.  Ivan Marx, who works in the Transitional Justice branch of the MPF says the petition will be used in the investigation to uncover how Guimarães disappeared and the truth behind who is responsible.

Pedro Dallari, head of the National Truth Commission (CNV) says that reconciliation cannot be achieved until the armed forces admit to their wrong doings and violations.  Meanwhile, former military lieutenant, José Conegundes do Nascimento, who was involved in the  Araguaia guerrilla massacre, has refused to testify with the CNV saying he “does not want to collaborate with the enemy”.   The CNV was planning to have him, as well as other former military officials testify their versions of the military coup this coming Monday, the 22nd of September.

There have been concerns that the National Truth Commission (CNV) will not address an appropriate amount of the investigation to the Araguaia guerrilla massacre in Brazil (active between 1967-1974).  In 2010, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights challenged Brazil’s amnesty law and found the country responsible for the tortured, forced disappearance, killings of at least 70 peasants and militants who were part of the resistance movement.  However, the National Truth Commission (CNV) will be carrying out investigations on September 22nd, 2014 on the former “Blue House” building (now the National Department of Transportation Infrastructure).  The building used to be an illegal prison center that tortured and exterminated militants and/or supporters of the  Araguia guerrilla movement.

Pedro Dallari of the National Truth Commission (CNV) says that one of the principle objectives of the commission is to denaturalize torture, which he claims still occurs in Brazil today.  He specifically gives the example of the torture and disappearance of bricklayer Amarildo de Souza in Rio (which occurred in July 2013).

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