Brazil: champion of late truth in Latin America

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing with its dark past, ruled by a dictatorial military regime from 1964 until 1985. 27 years later, on November 18th, President Dilma Rousseff signed a law establishing a truth commission. Brazil played an active role in the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and constantly lobbies to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. But "Brazil has done so few things compared with Argentina and Chile in terms of dealing with its past. Nobody is ever sentenced for the crimes committed during the dictatorship," says CecĂ­lia Coimbra, president of the NGO that represents the social movement Grupo Turtura Nunca Mais, born in 1985. During 20 years of dictatorship, over 400 people were killed or disappeared, and thousands were tortured or subjected to other human rights violations. The Grupo's main objective is to tell people what happened. "Yes, we want punishment. Not because of grievances or revenge.

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