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Brazil will look into its harsh political past but the military are safe

Saturday, October 29th 2011 - 05:24 UTC
Full article 9 comments

The Brazilian congress approved this week the creation of a Truth Committee that will look into human rights abuses from 1946 to 1988, which includes the military period from 1964 to 1985, but leaves untouched the controversial 1979 Amnesty Law that benefits military and police personnel. Read full article


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  • GeoffWard2

    It is a difficult path Dilma is attempting to walk.
    The issue is raw for families of the 400, and 'unfinished business' for the nation.
    But we have the Amnesty on the NATION'S statutes - whatever puffing the Inter American Human Rights Court, CIDH, get up to.

    Dilma is attempting to 'square the circle' and allow the country to draw a line underneath the deaths and destructions of earlier generations.
    She knows that she was part of the problem, but she also knows that she is the best bet for a solution.

    I feel more able to say these things as I have been one of her most fierce critics.
    She is proving better for the country than I would ever have imagined, and I support her fully in these matters.

    Lets see if her humanity and 'truth and reconciliation' can become South America's equivalent to that of Nelson Mandela.

    Oct 29th, 2011 - 12:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno is admitted about 400,but the other deaths and/or disappearances are simply not admitted and not non-existent.this process as it stands is to be a whitewash and then to claimed that the issue is closed.where is the closure for the one's left unrecognized and unaddressed?and what of the culprits who will have escaped,not just justice but a morally required contrition for their evil doing.irrespective of any amnesty how can a commission be the end of the matter

    Oct 29th, 2011 - 05:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Was the Mandela process a 'whitewash'?

    I don't think so.
    It was the best example of humanity at work that I have known in my lifetime.
    If Dilma takes her country even half way there she will have done more than the rest of South America put together.

    I punish/imprison your side,
    you punish/imprison my side,
    I punish/imprison your side,
    you punish/imprison my side,
    I punish/imprison your side,
    you punish/imprison my side,

    Is this REALLY what you want ?

    Oct 29th, 2011 - 06:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    Lot of assumptions there Geoff.brazil was not subjected to a colonial regime of the worst kind,it was already an open society legally.these events were unjustified at the time,hence the commission.this will only recognise what is conceded.what about the ethic behind it,is it an exercise or a genuine commission that will go to the root.we didn't learn a lot from Germany in how political power is applied to 'opponents' and there is a failure still to understand that oppressive power is still tolerated for too long.there is no right answers in politics.there is humanity !

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 08:57 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Hi, Yul.
    I have some difficulty following your reasoning - probably because of language structure.
    Brasil had colonizers and had slave populations - both of which condition the society in which I live.

    Ethnic dimension:
    South Africa had colonizers, first the Zulu, then the Boer, then the British, and then it split more completely than Brasil on lines of Colour - the Black, the Brown (including Indian colonizers from India), and the Whites. It had white/black dominance & war, white/black apartheid, and white/white war but not slavery of the type prevelant in Brasil.
    There is MUCH more interbreeding in Brasil than in South Africa.

    So the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in South Africa relates largely to Black/White Apartheid and its inhumane uni-directional application.

    Brasil's proposed Truth Commission relates to Left-Right politics with a residue of 'old colonial' attitudes.
    It relates to the Military (presumed Right, though all the ones I ever met were Left of Centre),
    and Revolutionary Left (though the ones I have met were largely Centrist reactionaries, reacting to a military dictatorship).
    A few - like Dilma - were the 'real deal', International Socialist Revolutionaries who had a fundimental political philosophy to change society and the world (I knew and know a few of these, though most have changed their politics as they have aged).

    Because Brasil's Truth Commission is addressing L-R Politics, wrapped up in military-v-civilian conflict, it is, at once, both simpler and more complex than Mandela's Apartheid T&RC.
    But the same PROCESS applies - albeit without RECONCILIATION being part of the Brasilian process (a huge mistake, in my opinion).

    We have to break the cycle of tit-for-tat RETRIBUTION.
    Amnesties do this if they are respected, especially if they are reinforced by Referenda of the whole of the country.
    If politicians choose to disregard amnesties and referenda/pleciscites, then Truth Commissions - well conducted - are the only option.

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 11:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    I agree with a lot of what you say here Geoff,but I think what you are missing is that one doesn't ever get exactly what one wants but to be 'satisfied' with less is an admittedly peaceable stance in a negotiating situation,but not one that arises from anything like addressing truth or reconciliation.if you would like to see an end to retribution let's have a full process in this instance,eg let settle the score fully and give justice to all the disappeared and then we'll agree to end the cycle.

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 12:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Cruzansailor

    And a big thank you should go to all countries that want to arrest the father of Operation Condor, Henry Kissinger.

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 03:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    This is a recipe for national disaster.
    Firstly (or secondly), under a 'left wing' government, you have to destroy all the military including the conscripted Privates, because “I did it because I was ordered to” was shown in the Nuremburg war trials to be a falacious argument. Practically, the national military becomes stripped of all quality professional military individuals - and this causes the left wing government to create a defensive militia, usually of foreign forces (viz. Ghaddhafi; Chavez).
    Then secondly (or firstly), under the 'right wing' government, you have to cull all those that opposed the military.

    The key to making this witch-hunt strategy work is DENUNCIATION.
    Some denouncers are ethical and only denounce 'the guilty'.
    Others identify a main-chance opportunity to win assets of individuals that he/she denounces (similar to the taking over of the houses, assets and factories etc of the German jews at the outset of WWII).

    This latter situation happened extensively during and after the Ruandan (genocidic) wars, that extended into Burundi and other adjacent countries. The profoundly good research showed that it was not just Tutsi reciprocally denouncing Hutu, but also Tutsi-Tutsi and Hutu-Hutu 'denouncements' designed to win land-assets owned by their local competitors.

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 07:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    Correct cruz about condor but no country wants to do it if their citizens are against.only if the weight of the people want it will it happens and the main instigators and the 'evil' perpetuators are who they would want stopping as a minimum.without that a democracy is only a facade and they and their ilk remain in abeyance(still)

    Oct 30th, 2011 - 08:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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