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Transitional Justice in Latin American Coutries: The Case of Brazil

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Scholten Andrew; Bresson, Julien
Date: 2016
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10103
Sector: Social Organization
Region: South America
Subject(s): justice
human rights
Abstract: "The aim of this article is to draw attention on the transitional justice in Brazil with a particular reference on the National Truth Commission. The article presents the most important stages of the debates on transitional justice occurred in Brazil after 2005. From 1964 to 1985 Brazil fell under the influence of a military regime that killed or 'disappeared' political activists and trade unionists and tortured many others. The numbers of those killed and 'disappeared' are smaller than those of neighboring countries like Argentina, which also fell to military dictatorships. Brazil’s military regime ruled Brazil by rotating military presidents, held elections, and kept Congress open. However, in reality, the elections held were heavily manipulated and the military openly threatened Congress if it began to operate against the views and wishes of the regime. In 1979 the Brazilian government passed an amnesty law that allowed all exiled activists to return to Brazil but also protected officials involved in the military regime from any prosecution for human rights violations committed prior to 1979. Because of this law, no military perpetrators of crimes have been tried and convicted for their offenses. As 1985 began to unfold, the regime began to slowly and peacefully transfer governmental power to civilians, avoiding a tumultuous end that might instigate negative feelings about the regime or aggressive prosecution of any leaders of the military. This chapter of Brazil’s past created what researcher Nina Schneider describes as a 'politics of silence', where atrocities and entire decades of Brazil’s history have been swept under the carpet. The article presents the most important aspects of transitional justice in Brazil after 2005."

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