Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Brazil: Establishment of Truth Commission

The BBC is reporting that Brazil is to establish its first official truth commission to examine the events of the dictatorship, although, as I commented on Mr. Trend's post (see below), there isn't much information about this around as yet. Apparently the official announcement will come in December.

Brazil has never had a real truth commission before, although a report on torture was made by the archdiocese of Sao Paolo (you can read a brief excerpt here).

I can't really comment on the specific case of Brazil, so I can only really refer to Mr Trend's post on Alterdestiny for that, and thank him for pointing me to the Portuguese articles as well. It's not surprising that I'm basically pro truth commission - as Priscilla Hayner, a prominent researcher on the subject, says:
"There is a need to come to terms with these periods and not leave unfinished business,"
Yet truth commissions require resources and can hardly be regarded as a panacea. There will be many questions to be answered on the establishment of any commission. If state-run institutions, including the military, are not going to cooperate fully, how will this be dealt with? What will be the mandate of the commission and how will perpetrators be treated - particularly in light of the 1979 amnesty law? I'll be looking out for more information.

Brazil to probe its military past (BBC)
Governo estuda criar "comissão da verdade" (Midiamax)
Ministro questiona versao de militares sobre arquivos (Estadao)

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