Brazil’s Truth Commission looking into foreign companies helping the military regime crackdown on ‘subversives’

MercoPress, 8/11/2014

Newly-discovered documents suggest big international companies aided Brazil’s military regime in its war against ‘subversives’ and union activists. Academics and human rights activists have long believed that local and multinational companies helped Brazil’s military regime in their crackdown on “subversives.”

Now, the country’s Truth Commission, which is investigating crimes from the era believe they have discovered evidence that proves the link.

A government-appointed commission investigating abuses during Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship has found documents that it says show how companies secretly helped the military identify suspected “subversives” and union activists on their payrolls.

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Brazil commission says abusers could be tried

AP/ABC News, 05/21/2013

A Truth Commission investigating human rights abuses under Brazil’s military dictatorship says that those it finds guilty of torture could be brought to trial.

A 1979 amnesty law protects civilians and military personnel from liability for politically motivated crimes committed during the 1964-1985 military regime. But commission coordinator Rosa Cardoso says they could be tried by the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

She notes that “there are no statutes of limitations for crimes committed against humanity.” And adds, “Amnesties are not valid under international law.”

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Brazil’s truth commission investigates death of former president Juscelino Kubitschek

AP/The Washington Post, 01/23/2013

Brazil’s Truth Commission, which is investigating human rights abuses committed during the nation’s military dictatorship, said Wednesday it’s looking into the death of former President Juscelino Kubitschek, who died in a 1976 car accident.

Over the years, some prominent Brazilian officials have said they suspect that the death of Kubitschek, who oversaw the creation of his nation’s new capital city, Brasilia, in the early 1960s, was a set-up ordered by the military regime.

A Truth Commission official said by telephone the investigation into Kubitschek’s death began late last year after the bar association of Minas Gerais state delivered a report saying his death was ordered by Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime.

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Brazil truth commission to probe only junta crimes

Stan Lehman – The Miami Herald, 09/18/2012

Brazil’s Truth Commission will investigate only human rights abuses committed by the country’s former dictatorship, not any crimes committed by opponents of the 1964-1985 regime.

The commission said Tuesday on its website that it has been told to only look at the torture, murder and forced disappearances carried out by government agents of people opposed to the dictatorship.

It said it did not have the authority to investigate the acts of individuals that were not public agents.

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Brazil’s truth commission will only probe human rights abuses by former dictarorships

AP/Washington Post, 09/18/2012

Brazil’s Truth Commission says it will only investigate human rights abuses under the country’s former dictatorship, not the crimes allegedly committed by opponents of the 1964-1985 regime.

The commission says Tuesday on its website that it has been told to investigate only the torture, murder and forced disappearances carried out by government agents of people opposed to the dictatorship.

Retired admiral Ricardo Antonio da Veiga Cabral says the commission’s decision will result in an “unfinished, one-side investigation in which only half the truth will be known.”

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Leaders’s torture in the ’70’s stirs ghosts in Brazil

Simon Romero – The New York Times, 08/04/2012

Her nom de guerre was Estela. Part of a shadowy urban guerrilla group at the time of her capture in 1970, she spent three years behind bars, where interrogators repeatedly tortured her with electric shocks to her feet and ears, and forced her into the pau de arara, or parrot’s perch, in which victims are suspended upside down naked, from a stick, with bound wrists and ankles.

That former guerrilla is now Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff. As a truth commission begins examining the military’s crackdown on the population during a dictatorship that lasted two decades, Brazilians are riveted by chilling details emerging about the painful pasts of both their country and their president.

The schisms of that era, which stretched from 1964 to 1985, live on here. Retired military officials, including Maurício Lopes Lima, 76, a former lieutenant colonel accused of torturing Ms. Rousseff, have questioned the evidence linking the military to abuses. Rights groups, meanwhile, are hounding Mr. Lopes Lima and others accused of torture, encircling their residences in cities across Brazil. “A torturer of the dictatorship lives here,” they recently wrote in red paint on the entrance to Mr. Lopes Lima’s apartment building in the seaside resort city of Guarujá, part of a street-theater protest.

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Brazil probing dictatorship human rights abuses

AP/Fox News, 05/16/2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday swore in the seven members of a truth commission created to investigate human rights abuses committed during the nation’s long military dictatorship.

Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla who spent three years in prison during the dictatorship and was brutally tortured, was moved to tears as she ushered in the long-delayed commission, whose work begins years after neighboring Latin American nations fully investigated the actions of dictatorial regimes.

“We are not moved by revenge, hate or a desire to rewrite history,” Rousseff said at the ceremony in Brasilia. “The need to know the full truth is what moves us. Brazil deserves the truth, future generations deserve the truth and most importantly those who lost their friends and their families deserve to know the truth.”

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