Posted by Vanessa Castañeda
The final report disclosed the 377 names of agents responsible for tortures, disappearances and murders. The National Truth Commission stands in favor of punishing those directly or indirectly involved in human rights violations. But others, such as Minister of the High Military Court Marco Aurélio Mello, believe that the amnesty law should remain as is, which consequently makes accountability very difficult.
Military agents are refuting the final report’s claims. In particular, they find accusing deceased agents as former torturers unethical because they have no grounds to defend themselves. General Sérgio Etchegoyen is the first active general to publicly denounce the final report as trivial. His father, General Leo Guedes Etchegoyen, was on the list of the 377 accused agents.
Although there are mixed opinions from family members of the disappeared, there is a strong consensus that the final report is the first step towards justice and accountability. Maria Cristina Vanucchi Leme (sister of a student that was killed in 1973 during Operation Bandeirantes) has stated, “Reconciliation is important but an even greater form of peacemaking is justice.”
Maria Elizabeth Rocha, the first woman to preside in the High Military Courts, has stated she is committed to providing transparency and alter “society’s tainted vision of the military court”. Additionally, Rocha has stated that the Armed Forces were not supporters of torture and other human rights violations and furthermore, the commission’s task is to provide clarity, not accuse who is and is not guilty.
Minister of Human Rights, Ideli Salvatti has informed the public that they have began implementing 12 of the 29 recommendations set forth by the Truth Commission’s final report. Such measures include preventing and combating torture, locating and returning disappeared family members, etc. The other 17 depend on collaboration among other ministries and governmental bodies.
For a timeline of important moments during the National Truth Commission’s years of research and information gathering, click here.