Wednesday, June 20th 2012 - 06:44 UTC

Rousseff reveals how she was tortured as a student by the Brazilian military regime

President Dilma Rousseff still has trouble chewing, after her jaw was dislocated during three years of torture and imprisonment under Brazil's former military leadership, it was revealed this week.

The Brazilian president when she was arrested at the age of 22

According to an unedited autobiographical account by Brazil’s first female president published in the media Monday, she was subjected to regular torture.

“The interrogation started, generally with electric shocks, growing in intensity, and then there were sessions of ”pau de arara” (suspension from a rod by the hands and feet), something people can't take for too long,” Rousseff said.

Rousseff, 64, recounted her experiences under Brazil's military regime (1964-1985) over a decade ago at a provincial human rights council that sought to compensate victims of torture, but the full details have just been released.

In 1970, then 22-year-old Rousseff was arrested and imprisoned for three years in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, where she began to fight with guerrillas at the age of 16.

In Belo Horizonte, Rousseff faced the worst years of repression by the military leadership, which accused her of helping a guerrilla leader escape, something she denies to this day. Rousseff's torturers often beat and threatened to disfigure her.

“My jaw was dislocated. That still causes me problems until today,” she said, but she added her torture wounds “are a part of me.”

In May, Rousseff inaugurated a truth commission, aimed at shedding light on the crimes committed by the former military leadership.

The commission however does not seek to call into question the 1979 amnesty law that at once permitted exiles to return to the country and offered amnesty to torturers.

According to official estimates, some 400 Brazilians were killed or disappeared during the military regime, compared with 3.200 in Chile and 30.000 in Argentina according to human rights groups.

However the head of the Argentine military Junta, General Jorge Videla in a recent interview with a Spanish journalist said that the number was closer to 9.000 according to the Armed forces registry.

11 comments Feed

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1 Britworker (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 07:56 am Report abuse
Perhaps with that background she would be the biggest supporter of democracy, freedom of choice and expression, human rights and self-determination. Funny how people change isn't it!
2 Alexei (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 11:50 am Report abuse
Often the oppressed are worse than their oppressors when they get a chance.
3 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 02:58 pm Report abuse
What an incredible picture, a loving girl with no fear in her eyes.
4 Think (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 04:33 pm Report abuse

Dilma’s picture deserves to be seen in full…..
Notice the brilliant ”undercover techniques” of the valiant, American trained officers in the background…..
5 ChrisR (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 07:11 pm Report abuse
It is an everlasting shame that Dilma Rouseff was treated like this by her own people.

However, as a terrorist cell leader she did not prevent / was not aware of / whatever, when an American Military Officer was shot dead in front of his wife and children by members of her cell.

I suspect that was why she never had a state reception on her visit to America. And if the mass of the population ever woke up to this she would most likely never get another other sort of visit either.

'I don't Think' aka The Turnip in Chief: X-ray powers now you have? Or give yourself to the dark side you have!

Where are the officers? Or are we talking about the two indeterminate figures in the background. Cunning stunt you are!
6 hammerhead993 (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 07:20 pm Report abuse
@3 Hmmm, I came to the conclusion that she was thinking in that picture of how, even in 2012, the Brazilian government would be able to allow the extermination of Brazil's indigenous population. All so the urban-dwelling Brazilians can have dishwashers in their homes.

You people who post on here and constantly talk about how the large Western countries like the U.K., America, etc. do terrible things in places like Iraq are hypocrites. It's going on in your own backyard. See, the thing is, indigenous populations were wiped out across North and South America for hundreds of years. But, it has stopped in most countries...except Brazil. It's going on there as you read this. So, those of you who think da Silva or Rousseff are heroes or saints or're either naive or you don't want to face the truth.
7 Alexei (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 08:44 pm Report abuse
She just looks like some trouble-making street ug to me.
8 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 09:38 pm Report abuse
4 Think The complete picture you posted is even better!

C'mom Lisa W., show the complete picture next time.
9 Condorito (#) Jun 20th, 2012 - 10:32 pm Report abuse
“Often the oppressed are worse than their oppressors when they get a chance” - and this applies to Dilma how?

Your link is broken.
10 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jun 21st, 2012 - 12:40 am Report abuse
Your computadora is broken, :-)
11 Ozgood (#) Jun 21st, 2012 - 03:12 am Report abuse
9 Condorito

How true this is now! CFK and her cronies are out for vengeance

During a visit to Brazil, un my way to Argentina, I spoke to a former member of the military who told me why he preferred the military - THINGS WERE STABLE

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