Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Brazil releases truth commission report

Brazil's truth commission report is out.

Here are some of the stark facts:

- illegal arrests, torture, executions and disappearances were systematic during the dictatorship
- 377 perpetrators of human rights abuses identified, around 100 of whom are still alive.
- 434 deaths, probably more but findings limited by difficulty in gaining access to information.

As the Guardian notes,
“Under the military dictatorship, repression and the elimination of political opposition became the policy of the state, conceived and implemented based on decisions by the president of the republic and military ministers,” the report states. The commission “therefore totally rejects the explanation offered up until today that the serious violations of human rights constituted a few isolated acts or excesses resulting from the zeal of a few soldiers”.
The report points the finger at five ex-presidents as ultimately responsible for the atrocities.

Brazil has waited a long time for this information and it's good to see it out there and being reported on - and on International Human Rights Day. However, the report is not just an end in itself; now we need to see trials.

Brazil truth commission: Abuse 'rife' under military rule (BBC)
Brazil Truth Commission: Victims revisit torture cells (BBC)
Rousseff in tears as Brazilian report details junta’s killings and torture (Guardian)
Relatório final da Comissão da Verdade pede revogação parcial da Lei da Anistia e responsabiliza ex-presidentes (O Globo)

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