Thursday, 18 December 2008

Brazil: Memory Performances

In Brazil, activities have been taking place
in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Institutional Act #5 (AI-5). Its decree, on December 13, 1968- four years into the Brazilian military dictatorship -is considered to have been the coup within the coup d'etat. AI-5 suspended guarantees in the 1967 Constitution, increased dictatorial powers of the President, and led to the closure of the Brazilian congress and the suspension of habeas corpus in the name of national security.

It essentially legalized torture and the death penalty, and by the end of the Brazilian dictatorship in the mid 80s, more than 40,000 people had been tortured and hundreds disappeared and murdered.

One witness recalled the time,

"I was a high school student and university student during that time, and it was a terrible. Then I studied at the Federal University and they said that we used guns - and that was one of the lies they told - and we had to run, and then when we came near the military barracks and they would throw bombs and say that we had thrown them. They had a system of picking you up where they would lift you from behind with your arms twisted, beating you, and I can't say I don't have back problems, from the countless beatings I got."

Events Commemorate 40th Anniversary of Brazil's 'Coup within the Coup d'Etat' (Upside Down World)

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