Dilma Will Go Ahead with Truth Commission

President Dilma Rousseff will apparently approve legislation advanced by the National Truth Commission, reports yesterday’s Jornal Globo.

Brazil remains one of the few countries in Latin America whose leaders have not yet reckoned with human rights abuses committed during the last dictatorship. The military ruled Brazil from 1964-1985, during which time hundreds of people were “disappeared” and thousands tortured.

A general amnesty protects those responsible for crimes committed during the dictatorship, but the truth commission’s project merely aims to identify the torturers.

Will good intentions turn into action? Military objections may still sink the project.  The military retains significant influence in Brazil. It was the military and foreign affairs (Itamaraty) that prompted government to go back on its promise to open up the national archives, this past November, and government has dragged its feet in passing an access to public information law. Brazil remains one of the few countries in the Americas not to have enacted a freedom of information law. A law currently awaits treatment in the Senate.

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