The announcement by President Dilma Rousseff of the seven members of a Truth Commission to investigate past human rights crimes is a landmark event. It is crucial that this Commission finally brings to light the full extent of the violations committed during Brazil’s military regime.
"This is a moment of great historical importance for justice and democracy in Brazil. Those who were brutalized, tortured or lost their loved ones in the hands of security forces have waited too long for the truth of these crimes to be revealed," said Atila Roque, Amnesty International Brazil’s Executive Director.
Amnesty International urges the Commissioners to ensure that this Truth Commission works in an impartial, thorough and transparent way to guarantee the full disclosure of past crimes. To this end they must be provided with sufficient resources to effectively fulfil this role.
Successful truth commissions should serve as means of revealing past violations, redress and ultimately as a catalyst to the provision of justice.
As such, the findings of this newly formed Commission will further the vital efforts of the Public Ministry in initiating criminal prosecutions against suspected past violators.
It is time for Brazil to lay to rest the demons of its past, coming into line with the many countries in the region that have held past human rights violators to account.
"The provision of truth and justice serves both to fulfil the rights of victims and their relatives while also ensuring that these crimes are not repeated,” said Atila Roque.