Brazil Opens Former Dictatorship's Files, a Bit
Bowing to domestic and international pressure, the Brazilian government has begun releasing intelligence files compiled by the former military dictatorship on government opponents, including victims of torture and those who disappeared.
A preliminary list of people whose activities were monitored by military intelligence during the dictatorship, which ruled from 1964 to 1985, has already been made public. As of Jan. 1, those people will be allowed to examine their own files, which are being transferred from military control to the National Archives.
Government officials estimated the files contained more than a million printed pages, plus photographs and films.
The belated release of the documents comes little more than a month after the United Nations Commission on Human Rights issued a draft report urging Brazil to be more assertive in dealing with the dark corners of its recent past.
That report, followed this month by a two-week visit by a United Nations emissary, noted that Brazil had been reluctant to identify and punish those responsible for rights abuses.
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