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The Reparations Program in Brazil

Cano, Ignacio
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In Pablo De Greiff, ed., The Handbook of Reparations. Oxford, New York, USA: Oxford University Press. Pp. 102-153.

“Ths chapter evaluates the federal reparations program for fatal victims of political violence in Brazil. The Brazilian reparations program was born of an amnesty movement for political prisoners, followed by the discovery of mass graves exposing atrocities of the State. In response to pressure from civil society groups and the media, President Cardoso signed the 1995 Law of Victims of Political Assassination and Disappearance. The chapter explores the limitations of the law, among others, its exclusion of many victims of political violence and the charge that the law transferred the burden of proof to victims’ families. The chapter examines closely the Commission’s structure and operation, as well as the voting patterns of its members. It provides data concerning the cost of the entire reparations process and sheds light on the surprising truth-telling function the Commission acquired in a country in which official truth telling about the years of the dictatorship is still to take place.” (excerpt)


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