Former Political Prisoners in Brazil Visit Place Where They Were Tortured

Former political prisoners leaving the DOI-CodiFormer political prisoners, accompanied by experts and members of the National Truth Commission, paid on September 23 a visit to the place regarded as Rio de Janeiro’s main torture center during the military dictatorship in Brazil: the old building known as DOI-Codi (Department of Information Operations – Center for Internal Defense Operations), in the district of Tijuca. 

The Commission estimates that at least 30 activists who were arrested in the premises have gone missing or could have been taken to other military centers, like the Casa da Morte (House of Death), a clandestine torture center outside the city of Rio.

According to Commission chairman Pedro Dallari, the purpose of the operation is to ascertain how the area was used for torture, murder and the disappearance of people.

“Our goal is to ascertain the facts. The visit, conducted while victims indicated the places [where the acts of violence were committed] will allow us to have an approximate idea about the distribution of the space,” he said.

Supported by more evidence about how the military facilities were used for illegal purposes, Dallari believes that administrative proceedings may be opened by the Armed Forces in an attempt to divest those involved of their rights as pensioners. “The military facilities were not built for this,” Dallari stressed.

During the operation, the once political detainees showed they could remember the rooms where the inmates were kept. Activist Ana Mirando pointed out, “It’s been changed; new things were built, but some places we can very easily recognize, like the purple room, the spot where the refrigerator stood – where the temperature was felt to oscillate in the extreme – , the place where they laid an alligator down onto my bare body, the place of the mock shooting squad executions, and the infirmary where doctor Amílcar Lobo saw us before sending us back to the torture sessions.”

Lobo was turned in in the 80’s and was deprived of his medical license. He is no longer alive.

A member of the Truth Commission of the State of Rio de Janeiro, former political prisoner Álvaro Caldas, who was at the place at other occasions, said that the visit, with the activists walking in through the front door, represents a watershed.

“I’m returning to the place of my torture – the pau de arara [a wooden stick to which victims were tied and forced to hang from while tortured] – with no hurries, taking my time, while experts investigate. I’ve accomplished a historic mission in behalf of the country,” he said.

Álvaro Caldas went on to mention that testimonies and documents are proof that deputy Rubens Paiva and Mário Alves – the founder of the Brazilian Revolutionary Communist Party – died in the facility, during the military rule.

In June, the military institutions affirmed to the National Truth Commission that during the dictatorship period the facilities were not used for purposes other than their original ones.

The Commission is expected to issue their final report by the end of 2014.

ABr

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil President Predicts Protests Will Go Away Once World Cup Starts

Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, confided during dinner with sports journalists that she ...

Foreign Capital Will Soon Pay for Grinding a Quarter of Brazil’s Sugarcane

In three to five years foreigners will be grinding 25% of the Brazilian sugarcane. ...

All You Learned in School about Brazil Is Actually (Gasp!) True

I’ve been thinking about my Brazilian experience a lot lately because for two months I’ve ...

Lobini, Brazil’s Answer to Fancy Sports Car, on the Road to the US

Brazil has gone back to producing sports cars. Last weekend, Lobini Automóveis, car factory ...

Brazil’s Legend Ary

Ary Barroso was the dominant figure of Brazil’s "Radio Era" (the decades of the ...

World Bank Lends Brazil US$ 500 Million for Popular Housing

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$ 502.5 million Programmatic ...

Brazil’s Embraer Files Suit Charging Gulfstream with Stealing Its Employees

Brazil’s aircraft maker Embraer has filed a lawsuit against American-based Gulfstream, a manufacturer of ...

Brazilians in Russia Evaluating Air Defense System

The Ministry of Defense sent to Russia last week a group of nine officials ...

Made in Brazil, Just for Little Girls

Brazilian Girl shoes manufacturer Pampili has been selling its product in the United States, ...