Brazil’s truth commission set to urge prosecution

19 November 2014 by Thierry Ogier, São Paulo (Brazil)

In a major shake-up, Brazil’s National Truth Commission (CNV) is expected to demand the prosecution of alleged military regime torturers identified in their final report on crimes during the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship. 

The CNV’s recommendations are to be published on 10 December and come despite a 1979 amnesty that once cleared accused torturers. Delivered almost 30 years after the regime’e end, the report is sure to break a major taboo in Brazil, where former torturers have long enjoyed de facto immunity. 

The CNV was set up in May 2012 by President Dilma Rousseff, herself a former guerrilla fighter who was jailed and reportedly tortured by the regime. The commission’s seven jurists received a broad mandate to shed light on human rights violations between 1946 and 1988. But in practice, the probe came to focus primarily on torture perpetrated by government forces during the dictatorship. According to official numbers, thousands of people were tortured and some 400 killed.

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