Relatives of former Brazilian president Joao Goulart who have long argued that he was the victim of the Southern Cone military government’s ‘terrorist’ operations in the seventies are encouraged by the Chilean justice decision to exhume and analyze the remains of former president Salvador Allende.
“Chile has now authorized that the remains for President Allende be analyzed to determine whether he was killed or committed suicide. This is a great boost for our hopes to try and put light on the circumstances surrounding the death of our father in 1976”, said the son of former president Goular, Joao Vicente.
Last week the Chilean magistrate Mario Carroza ordered the exhumation of former president Salvador Allende`s remains, who died 11 September 1973, as part of an investigation to determine if he was murdered by soldiers under the command of dictator Augusto Pinochet or if he committed suicide at Casa de la Moneda (Government House) when he was surrounded by the Chilean Armed Forces who had rebelled against him.
“We believe it is extremely relevant for Chile and the world that definitively and legally the causes and circumstances, of extreme violence, which led to the death of President Allende can be determined”, said last week Socialist Senator Isable Allende and daughter of the former leader.
“We want to know the truth, for us it would be far better that the death of Jango (nickname of the former president) was not the consequence of a conspiracy from the Condor Plan, (Southern Cone military dictatorships organization to eliminate opponents and dissidents). This would bring peace to our souls but in these years we have come across many obstacles to reach the truth, and this fuels our suspicions, besides the fact of many indications we have found out over the years”, said Joao Vicente Goulart.
Ousted 31 March 1964, it opened the way for a military dictatorship that lasted until 1985. Joao Goular died 6 September 1976, in one of his farms in the Argentine province of Corrientes.
“The hypothesis which we consider most solid is that he was considering the possible return to Brazil, which was extremely frightening to the military regime, and therefore a coordinated action from the Condor Plan to put an end to his life”, adds Vicente Goulart.
Under Operation Condor military dictatorships, (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay), hit teams with support from governments kidnapped, tortured and killed enemies and prisoners from the different regimes.
The Brazilian Committee of Political Prisoners and Disappeared published in 2009 a list of Brazilians kidnapped and killed during those years in Argentina and who were never heard off in Brazil.
Besides the Allende case, the Goularr family mentioned the investigations into the death of former president Eduardo Frei Montalva while in hospital in 1982, under the military dictatorship of Pinochet.
“Nowadays poison in a body is traceable through new techniques such as those employed in the analysis of the Tutankhamen mummy which enabled to reveal the death cause of the young king thousands of years ago”, said Goulat Jr.
According to the Goulart family, the former president who had heart problems, “government secret agents could have easily changed his medical prescription for lethal pharmaceuticals”.
Apparently the Brazilian federal prosecutor Gilda de Carvalho has just ordered the reopening of inquiries into the death of the former president. Among the several requirements, Carvalho has asked Argentine authorities to send to Brazil all the information and analysis on the remains of Joao Goulart from the province of Corrientes, before his body was repatriated.
“It’s most important that this (prosecutor’s) initiative happens when the Brazilian Congress is in the process of considering a bill for the nomination of a Truth Commission”, said J.V Goulart.