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News > Latin America

Temer Appoints Dictatorship Defender to Amnesty Commission

  • Temer announcing Alexandre de Moraes as Justice Minister in May, 2016

    Temer announcing Alexandre de Moraes as Justice Minister in May, 2016 | Photo: AFP

Published 4 September 2016

The same commission in charge of reparations to dictatorship victims will be led by a former sergeant who defended the repression.

Brazilian human rights activists denounced the government of Michel Temer on Saturday for appointing a supporter of the country's military dicatorship to head the Amnesty Commission, which proposes laws and reparations for the victims of that dictatorship.

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On Friday, Minister of Justice Alexandre de Moraes appointed twenty new members, and removed six members that were already working in the commission.

One of the new members, Paulo Lopo Saraiva, a former army sergeant during the military regime, collaborated with the dictatorship in 1964, according to a report from O Globo. Several reports from the National Information Service reveal that Saraiva participated in repression activities during the coup against president Joao Goulart.

The Movement for Truth, Memory, Justice and Reparation released a note criticizing the act as a dismantling of the Amnesty Commission.

"By putting new directors, the government loses nearly a decade of memory and expertise in the interpretation and application of the amnesty law in Brazil," said the statement.

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The statement also says it’s "absurd to have among the members of the new commission the names of people who did not emphatically oppose and condemn dictatorship and military crimes or worse, may have been employees of the dictatorship."

According to their statement, it is the first time members of the commission are appointed without consulting civil society and also the first time the government removes former members.

"The Temer government, with this arbitrary attitude makes a historical error that affects the continuity of the pending agenda of the democratic transition process, and it deepens its characteristics of an illegitimate government, without foundation in popular sovereignty," said the text.

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