Photo: National Truth Commission
Members of the Human Rights Committee of Brazil’s lower house criticized President Dilma Rousseff’s administration on Thursday for delays in setting up a truth commission to examine acts of repression between 1946 and 1988.
“It is many months already,” committee chair Domingos Dutra told reporters, referring to the time that has passed since the enactment last November of the law establishing the truth commission.
Rousseff, a former guerrilla who was tortured by Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, has yet to name any of the seven members of the panel, which will have two years to produce a report.
The delay in appointing the commission “generates doubts,” lawmaker Luiza Erundina said, especially because Brazil “has done so little” to reconstruct the events of the 1964-1985 period.
Noting that the truth commission will have no power to bring killers and torturers to justice, Erundina said the panel still has an important mission “to recover historical memory.”
The congressional Human Rights Committee has decided to create a parallel body to “monitor” the work of the truth commission, Dutra and Erundina said.
They said the congressional group plans to question former police officer Claudio Guerra, who confessed in a recent book to having taken part in various crimes under the 1964-1985 junta, including the cremation of 10 leftists tortured to death in the 1970s.
Journalists Marcelo Netto and Rogerio Medeiros created the book, “Memories of the Dirty War,” based on a series of interviews with Guerra, who provided details about a clandestine jail and torture chamber in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Petropolis.