Friday, 14 October 2011

Brazil: Truth commission bill passes

Under strong pressure from Dilma Rousseff, on 21 September the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to create the Commission on Truth (see Brazil Focus, September 2011). The bill must still be approved by the Senate, where its rap­porteur is Aloysio Nunes Ferreira (PSDB-SP), himself a victim of the military repression.

From the rostrum of the UN General Assembly, whose 66th session she opened on 21 Septem­ber, Rousseff paid homage to Brazil's Commission on Truth, saying that she believed the initiative to be important for Brazil and for its position in the world. The terms for approval of the bill by the Chamber of Deputies were negotiated with the president by telephone when she was already in New York, and categorically excluded any revision of the 1979 Amnesty Law.

This makes the government's proposal more acceptable to radical elements, including some of the military. As it stands, the Commission will have no punitive powers, only that of producing relevant information. It will consist of seven members, eminent personalities appointed by the president for a term of two years.

For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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