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News > Brazil

Brazil: Bolsonaro's Remarks Targeting Rousseff Spark Critics

  • Activists mobilized to condemn the dictatorship's rule, Brazil, 2019. The sign reads,

    Activists mobilized to condemn the dictatorship's rule, Brazil, 2019. The sign reads, "Never commemorate, remember to not repeat. Dictatorship never more." | Photo: Twitter/ @tameryazar

Published 30 December 2020

"Bolsonaro not only insults me but also thousands of victims of the dictatorship who were tortured and killed," Dilma Rousseff said.

Brazil's former President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016) on Tuesday condemned spiteful comments made by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro who discarded acts of torture committed against her during the dictatorship's rule (1964-1985).


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Previously,  through a video posted on social networks, Bolsonaro cast doubts on acts of torture committed against Rousseff during her years of imprisonment and requested an X-ray showing bone fractures as proof.

"Bolsonaro reveals himself for exactly what he is: an individual who has no empathy for human beings," Rousseff commented.

"As a defender of torture and torturers, he has no respect for life and he is insensitive to death and diseases as he has proven to be in front of the almost 200,000 deaths caused by the COVID-19," she added.

Former President Lula da Silva also rejected Bolsonaro's statements, noting that Dilma is "a woman with courage that Bolsonaro will never know". 

Figures from right-wing sectors such as ex-President Fernando Cardoso (1995-2002) and Lower Chamber chairman Rodrigo Maia also condemned the comments, noting Bolsonaro's lack of sensitivity.

"It is not about the left, the center, or the right. It is about human dignity. That's what it's about. Our solidarity with Rousseff," Maia said.

On March  31, 1964, a dictatorship was established by a military coup that overthrew President Joao Goulart (1961-1964). Decades later, a Truth Commission to investigate the dictatorship's victims concluded that over 70,000 people were arrested and persecuted and 437 are reported dead or missing.

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