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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Truth Commission still divides Lula da Silva's cabinet

Author: None
Source: MercoPress (Link)
Date: 22 December 2009
View Related Articles
Document Type: Press
Donor: Government of Brazil Event Date: ca. 1964-1985
Recipient: Victims of military persecution Reparation Date: 2010

In early April 1964, the Brazilian military deposed President Joao Goulart in a coup d'etat.  The generals who ruled until 1985 severely restricted individual and political liberties, and dealt ruthlessly with the opposition, particularly those with leftist sympathies.  Hundreds are thought to have been killed or have disappeared, and thousands more tortured and forced into exile.  The degree of repression was eased under President Ernesto Geisel who took office in 1974, while his successor, Joao Baptista Figueiredo, prepared to return the nation to democracy by allowing the formation of new political parties and issuing an act of amnesty in 1979 to cover individuals accused of political crimes. 


Proposed truth commission


The Brazilian government has proposed setting up a truth commission as part of the country's National Program on Human Rights.  The Commission will handle disappearances, murders, and torture cases carried out by the security forces during the period of military rule.


Opponents of the Truth Commission, especially representatives of the military, argue that it will prevent national reconciliation and that the 1979 act of amnesty gives immunity from prosecution to those who carried out abuses against the opposition at the time.


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