Facing the Truth About Brazil’s Dark Past - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
On December 10, the work of the Brazilian National Truth Commission (NTC) came to an end, after two years and seven months. The commission delivered a 2,000-page report to President Dilma Rousseff.
Aiming to investigate serious human rights violations committed by the Brazilian state in the period of 1946 to 1988, the NTC collected 1,121 testimonies from victims, perpetrators and state officials, resulting in a list of 434 names of dead or missing victims of the civil-military dictatorship.
The commissioners were sensitive to the demands of marginalised sectors and ended up expanding the scope of the report, incorporating a variety of unexplored themes. For example, they changed the traditional interpretation of who counted as a “victim”; until recently this concept was applied only to those who took part in the resistance. The NTC ended up including the stories of violence and abuse suffered by women, indigenous peoples, peasants and homosexuals and dedicated special chapters to them in the final report.
The commissioners also used their legal prerogative permitting them to release the names of human rights violators, while collecting evidence. As a result, for the first time in Brazilian history, we have the names of 377 public officials who were responsible for carrying out acts of violence during the military dictatorship.