In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

Since its installation three years ago, the National Truth Commission (CNV) has carried out public hearings, visited former torture centers (including with former political prisoners) and will deliver its Final Report on the 10th of this month.  Representatives from nine São Paulo truth commissions will present their contributions to the National Truth Commission’s Final Report and will hold a public discussion about how to address the Final Report and its suggestions.

In 2010 the Inter-American Court on Human Rights found Brazil responsible for the disappearance of 62 people in the guerrilla movement of Araguaia (1972-1974) as well as stipulated the implementation of a reparations project for victims of the dictatorship until March 2015. The Court has criticized Brazil’s shortcomings in identifying bodies, the disappeared, and victims of the dictatorship and has openly criticized the use of the 1979 Amnesty Law in investigating these human rights violations.

 

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

The Amnesty Commission released an investigation to the Judge’s Association for Democracy (AJD) revealing five judges given political amnesty for having been persecuted during the military dictatorship. One of the five, who remains unnamed, was imprisoned.

The Rio state Truth Commission rescheduled their original visit to the Dops headquarters located on Rua da Relação; a former repressive torture center for political prisoners during the military dictatorship. The commission and State Institute of Cultural Patrimony (Inepac) are using testimonies from former political prisoners to identify architectural elements to preserve as cultural and historic patrimony. Additionally, the state truth commission and civil society groups are demanding the space be used to preserve the memory of the victims from the dictatorship.

The São Paulo Municipal Truth Commission affirms that ex President Juscelino Kubitschek suffered an attack planned by the dictatorial regime that killed both him and motorist Geraldo Ribeiro on 22 August 1976. President of the Municipal Commission Gilberto Natalini (PV) is refuting the National Truth Commission’s (CNV) claim that Kubitschek’s death was due to a traffic accident.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

During an interview (17 November 2014), President of the National Truth Commission (CNV) Pedro Dallari disclosed that the CNV’s final report has concluded that former President Juscelino Kubitschek (1902-1976) died from a car accident.  On 19 November 2014, the Municipal Truth Commission of São Paulo and the São Paulo Chamber of Councilors have accused Pedro Dallari as conceding to the military. City councilman Gilberto Natalini (PV-SP) believes there is evidence that Juscelino Kubitschek was a victim of political attack.  Additionally, during the interview Pedro Dallari stated that approximately 100 military agents whom participated in human rights violations during the dictatorship are still alive and will be criminalized and punished.

In other news, incarcerated prisoners today continue to face mistreatment and in some cases become disappeared. The CNV’s final report includes a chapter with institutional recommendations for Brazil’s current prison system, another crucial step for the country’s democratic foundation.

In the Northeastern state of Bahia, the state truth commission has begun to distribute a report of the eleven political prisoner sites and thirteen sites of resistance in Salvador, during the military dictatorship. The report, being distributed to universities, libraries, archives and schools, represents a larger project for “historical memory and the consolidation of a Brazilian democracy against political violence”.

 

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

With less than a month before the final report is due, the National Truth Commission (CNV) continues to revise and adjust their official list of victims. After 29 months of research, there is still controversy surrounding the dictatorship, its victims and its legacy.

The Transitional Justice Branch of the Federal Prosecutors found a dossier of CNV members, including President Pedro Dallari, in the Central Military Hospital (HCE) in Benfica (Rio de Janeiro). The investigators had been given a lead that the hospital was hiding and destroying documents of killed political prisoners during the military dictatorship. The only information that was found regarding tortured political prisoners was of Raul Amaro Nin Ferreira (who died in 1971).

The Pernambuco Dom Helder State Truth and Memory Commission (CEMVDH) has received a report from the Amnesty Commission of 51 cases of human rights violations. 10 of the 51 are amnestied Pernambucanos.

Brazil’s 50 year anniversary of the coup continues to host cultural and educational programs throughout the country. This month, the project Mostra Marcas da Memória will be showing three films of Latin-American dictatorship in Itaú cinemas for free.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

At the 8th meeting on Brazilian Public Safety, it was determined that in the last five years, Brazilian police have killed more people than American police have in the last 30 years. Sociologist Renato Sérgio de Lima asserts that this is not a problem varying between individual officers, but an institutional phenomenon.

The Rio de Janeiro State Truth Commission (CEV-Rio) has postponed their visit to a former torture headquarters to 24 November 2014. The commission plans to take ex-prisoners from the dictatorship to the restored headquarters (which has been made into a Civil Police Museum) as a way to “transform the space as a space for memory”.

The National Truth Commission (CNV) has estimated that the Brazilian military regime was responsible for 421 assassinations or disappearances of people considered political adversaries during the dictatorial regime (1964-1985). Unfortunately, the report of the 421 victims does not guarantee legal punishment for those responsible.

However, at the same time there have been disagreements between the CNV and family members of those excluded from the CNV’s official list of victims. The 21 names excluded from the list include those who died abroad as exiles from Brazil, accidental deaths and deaths that have not been proven as directly caused by state repression.

Marxist intellectual Leandro Konder died at age 78 on 12 November 2014. He was a philosophy professor at Rio’s Catholic University (PUC-Rio). He sought exile in 1972 after being imprisoned and tortured, but returned to Brazil six years later.

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In the News…

Posted by Vanessa Castañeda

On 6 November 2014, the National Journalists Federation (Fenaj) gave a report to the Commission of Truth And Memory for Journalists, of 50 journalists persecuted during Brazil’s dictatorship. These fifty were eventually given amnesty. However, the commission has also investigated at least two dozen cases of journalists that have resulted in deaths.

The National Truth Commission’s (CNV) Final Report is scheduled to be finalized by 10 December 2014. The Worker’s Representatives of the CNV team (including unions and other entities) has proposed 43 recommendations for the report, including revising the Amnesty Law and punishing companies or businessman (private and public) who collaborated with the military dictatorship. The group also proposed creating its own organization, once the CNV dissolves after completing the final report, to monitor the way their recommendations are being addressed.

The Bahia State Truth Comission (CEV) will propose six recommendations for the final report. The recommendations include: the need to revise the amnesty law, the formation of a national organization that will monitor the final recommendations presented by the CNV and the need to create a national initiative on the importance of memory.  Meanwhile, the CNV remains divided on whether or not to revise the Amnesty Law.

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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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