10th December 2014: Brazil’s National Truth Commissionhas presented its final report to President Dilma Roussef. The Commission spent over two years investigating crimes against humanity committed between 1946 and 1988, with particular focus on those that took place under the country’s military regime between 1964 and 1985. The report marks an important step towards the acknowledgement of the extra-judicial executions and torture committed by the regime against political opponents and members of armed opposition groups.
Over 400 people were killed or disappeared in Brazil between 1964 and 1985, and many others arrested and tortured. The report names members of the military involved in acts of torture, and stresses that the country’s “amnesty law” (introduced initially to pardon political prisoners but subsequently interpreted to protect torturers) does not protect those responsible for crimes against humanity.
SRT grantee Conectas made seven recommendations to the Commission, all of which were included in the final report. Another grantee, CEJIL, took the case of 69 victims of disappearance to the Inter-American Court along with two other NGOs in Gomes Lund and Others. The court’s ruling challenged the validity of Brazil’s amnesty law and ordered an investigation into the killings of a group of armed opposition activists in the Araguaia region by the military between 1972 and 1974. It was on the recommendation of the Inter-American Court in the same case that the Brazilian government set up the Truth Commission.
Viviana Krsticevic, CEJIL’s Executive Director, said, “The report is a milestone in the search forthe truth about the crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship. Its release occurs at a key moment in the history of Brazil, which is one of the few countries that still have not faced criminal charges against those who were linked to disappearances, torture and executions. We hope that the debatesurrounding the adoption of the report will encourage society, the judiciary and state institutions to support the search for justice for victims of crimes against humanity in Brazil.”
Link to the final report:
Article from CEJIL’s website: http://cejil.org/comunicados/comision-nacional-de-la-verdad-presenta-su-primer-informe-oficial
Article from Conectas’ website: http://www.conectas.org/en/actions/justice/news/26615-a-historic-step
Coverage from the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-30410741
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