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Rousseff hails unveiling of torture report
December 11, 2014, 3:23 pm

Rousseff weeps as she unveils report on torture by the military dictatorship [Image: Dilma Rousseff/Twitter]

Rousseff weeps as she unveils report on torture by the military dictatorship [Image: Dilma Rousseff/Twitter]

Brazilian national Truth Commission’s report presented to President Dilma Rousseff moved her to tears as it published accounts of torture, killings and disappearances during two decades of military rule from 1964-85.

“I am very proud to be here, because the people here contributed to combat the violation of human rights,” Rousseff said during an emotional speech at the ceremony on Wednesday.

“We, who so love democracy, hope that the wide circulation of this report helps to reaffirm the priority that we must give to upholding democratic liberties. In this way, we must show our absolute aversion to authoritarian states and dictatorships of any kind,” President Rousseff said.

Rousseff is a former leftist guerrilla once imprisoned and tortured by the country’s military regime. The report has identified 377 people of committing “crimes against humanity”, 200 of whom are still alive.

“This is a key step in the right direction for Brazilians: knowing their history they can build a better society,” Rousseff tweeted on Wednesday.

The Brazilian leader has alluded to her past imprisonment and physical torture under the military dictatorship during the presidential campaigning this year.

“I have come up against hugely difficult situations in my life, including attacks which took me to the limit physically. Nothing knocked me out of my stride,” said Rousseff.

Hundreds of Brazilians were murdered and thousands were tortured by the Brazilian military rule but the Latin American nation has never put anyone on trial for the murder and widespread torture of political dissidents during its dictatorship.

In 1979 the Brazilian army pushed an amnesty law to shield themselves from future prosecutionsthrough the Brazilian Congress.

The report released on Wednesday has identified Germany’s Volkswagen AG as one of several foreign companies that provided the Brazilian military with lists and accounts of union activists.

Brazil is seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and was this week voted in with a majority to the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

The vote marked the first time a Latin American country was admitted to the agency’s top consultative body, which advises on “key strategic decisions,” said the UNRWA.



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