Brazil highest magistrate, president of the Federal Tribunal (Supreme Court) Cezar Peluso said he was contrary to the disclosure of records from the recent military dictatorship (1964/1985) as was proposed by President Dilma Rousseff.
“It is a most delicate issue, it is a question that must be decided by the Legislative and Executive branches; there is certain information that could put the country’s security at risk”, said Magistrate Peluso.
President Rousseff was behind a bill to eliminate the secret condition of documents pertaining to the military dictatorship, but only a couple of weeks ago she back stepped and said that some records should not be released.
The Brazilian Armed Forces and the Brazilian Foreign Affairs ministry support the non disclosure of some secrets, even when they could admit some “light” records to see the light, according to Folha de Sao Paulo.
“We must act with prudence and quietly, the State has the right to preserve its security and not to put it at risk”, said Magistrate Peluso thus joining a group led by the head of the senate and former president Jose Sarney.
Peluso quoted by Folha de Sao Paulo in an interview, said that what needs to be made compatible is the security of the State and the “legitimate aspiration of society” to have access to information pertaining to previous administrations.
The issue is highly sensitive in Brazil which is the only country in the Southern Cone that has not looked back into its recent past and has respected the 1979 Amnesty Law passed by the military regime to safeguard members of the armed forces and the police forces from claims of human rights violations.
Furthermore President Rousseff as a student in the late sixties and early seventies was a member of one of several guerrilla groups of the time and was tortured and imprisoned by security forces.
And there is another part of Brazilian history which apparently is going to remain locked and refers to the Triple alliance war of the 1870s when Paraguay was defeated and its male population almost entirely eliminated.
Similarly with another incident at the beginning of last century by which Brazil took over from Bolivia the state of Acre: bribes, money and two horses were involved in the operation.
In both cases not very helpful for current relations.
The most recent records according to the Sao Paulo press also refer to the development of nuclear power by Brazil, not only for peaceful means, when the country was ruled by the military and so was rival Argentina. The two countries at the time were disputing the leadership of South America.
Since the return of democracy in the eighties both rivals have acted as good neighbours and since the beginning of this century Argentina and Brazil consider each other “strategic partners”. No need to open the trunk of memories.