In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

Leonardo Sakamoto, professor of journalism at PUC-SP attributes today’s violence from the Brazilian state to the inheritance of the repressive structures of the dictatorship. The National Truth Commission (CNV) investigates the deaths and disappearances that occurred before the 1988 Constitution-a time often times seen as a turning point for democracy. He challenges the assumption that a gradual and safe transition to democracy has occurred within Brazil and instead claims that the police forces in Brazil use tactics that are residual effects of the dictatorship.

On the other hand, José Otávio Nogueira Guiamrães, professor of History at Unb and a researcher in the institution’s truth commission, sees the creation of the CNV as an important step towards Brazil’s transition to justice and democracy. Although it has been a gradual transition, important stages include the amnesty law in 1979, the law of the disappeared in 1995, the creation of the Amnesty Commission and the statute of Political Amnesty and finally, the creation of the CNV in 2011.

Moreover, on the 7th November 2014 Pedro Dallari (President of the CNV) commented on the several protestors asking for the impeaching of President Dilma and the return of a military regime (manifestation occurred on the 1st November 2014). “I believe that Brazil has solidified into democracy and people have exaggerated a little”. Dallari says the solution to society’s (the protestors) discontent must be found within democracy, a huge win for the history of Brazil.

The final report of the CNV is scheduled to be finished on 10 December 2014 and although the report has not been finalized, Pedro Dallari has stated that the report’s principal ideas have been defined. The CNV will explicitly recommend that workers of the state who committed human rights violations should formally take responsibility of their actions. Additionally, based on all of its research, the CNV will provide a list of names of those workers in the final report.

In related news, on the 3rd November 2014, the Federal Bar Association (OAB) created a national truth commission for Black Slavery in Brazil. The Commission will research the history of African slaves brought to Brazil and their descendants and examine the repercussions of inequality (political, economic, cultural) that Afro-descendants face today in Brazil.

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