Brazil's Truth Commission will only investigate abuses by the military government. Of course, the military is not happy.
Retired military officers criticized the announcement, saying the panel must also look into violations committed by leftist guerrillas who opposed the regime.
Retired admiral Ricardo Antonio da Veiga Cabral said by telephone that the commission's decision will result in an "unfinished, one-side investigation in which only half the truth will be known."
"Crimes were committed by both sides, so both sides must be investigated," he said.
Retired officers often express the opinion of the armed forces since military personnel are prohibited by law from doing so publicly.
Actually, including opposition abuses helps the opposition because there are so few in comparison. In the case of Guatemala, for example, you get the following:
- "State forces and related paramilitary groups were responsible for 93% of the violations documented" (Final Report, English Version, para. 15).
- "Insurgent actions produced 3% of the human rights violations and acts of violence” (Final Report, English Version, para. 21).
In other words, this emphasizes the overwhelming state role and prevents the military from falsely claiming that both sides were relatively equal.
Update: for a different view, see Colin Snider.