Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brazil amnesty

We need more research to answer why to this:

El gobierno de Brasil descartó entrar en cualquier tipo de discusión, nacional o internacional, sobre la ley de amnistía de 1979 que exoneró a los responsables de abusos de derechos humanos cometidos durante los gobierno militares entre 1964 y 1985.
"No nos vamos a meter en el debate sobre la ley de amnistía, ni domésticamente, ni a nivel internacional", dijo la comisionada del gobierno para los derechos humanos, María do Rosario.

My scholarly work on civil-military relations is periodically critiqued for being too negative in its assessment, but this is yet another example of how civilian governments stop short of dealing with sensitive issues. If the military is not a problem, is not politicized, will not be a distraction, then why refuse even to discuss the amnesty?

For a scholarly (and often pessimistic) look at Brazilian civil-military relations, Jorge Zaverucha has written a lot.


Anonymous,  10:50 AM  

What about the argentinian example? In a moment of an enormous crisis (as much economical as political), the civil government decided to nullify the amnesty laws and begin with judgments in regular civil courts against the militaries (and police officers) responsible of torturing, murdering and dissapearing of people during the militar regime of 1976-1983.

Colin 11:28 AM  

I haven't read the articles by Zaverucha, but he also has a book called "Fragil Democracia" that goes into great depth about the Sarney, Collor, and Cardoso administrations' kowtowing to military interests (up to 1998). Ironically, Cardoso, who during the dictatorship had been the most persecuted of the three post-regime presidents, ended up having the highest number of military officials in his cabinet. From what I recall of the book more generally, Zaverrucha he suggested that, although the military had stepped down, the tenuous transition to civilian rule (complicated by Tancredo Neves' death) and its history of involvement in politics (7 interventions, failed or successful, in national politics between 1930 and 1964) meant that, while publicly the military swore off political involvement, behind the scenes of government it still exerted a not-insignificant measure of pressure.

Greg Weeks 7:45 PM  

The Argentine case is usually seen as an exception because of how badly the military crumbled in the early 1980s, which is not the case elsewhere (such as Brazil). It lost influence.

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