Amnesty Commission grants reparations to indigenous peoples for attacks during the dictatorship

Amnesty Commission grants reparations to indigenous peoples for attacks during the dictatorship

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The Amnesty Commission, linked to the Ministry of Human Rights, approved this Tuesday (2) a collective request for reparation to the Guarani-Kaiowá and Krenak indigenous peoples for the violence they suffered during the period of the military dictatorship.

This was the first request for collective forgiveness for acts committed by the State against indigenous peoples.

According to the Ministry of Human Rights, the requests had been rejected under the administration of former minister Damares Alves, during the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government.

In addition to recognizing the serious consequences of state action and omission against members of the Krenak and Guarani-Kaiowá ethnic groups, the members of the collegiate agreed to a formal apology on behalf of the Brazilian State. They also approved a series of recommendations to be implemented by public bodies in order to prevent the events from happening again.

In the requests presented to the commission, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) maintains that, between 1957 and 1980, indigenous peoples in general, and not just the Krenak and Guarani-kaiowá communities, were the target of government and business intervention in their territories, which resulted in deaths, violations of physical integrity and profound disintegration of their traditional ways of life.

In 2014, the National Truth Commission concluded the report on its two years and seven months of investigations into human rights violations committed during the period of the last Brazilian civil-military dictatorship, pointing out that at least 8,350 indigenous people were murdered and many others suffered violence and abuses of all kinds.

The first meeting of the current government’s Amnesty Commission took place in March last year to judge cases that remained pending or had their amnesty requests denied in previous administrations. They are trying to reverse decisions in more than 11 thousand cases that were granted or denied by the team of former minister Damares Alves.

What is the Amnesty Commission

The Amnesty Law, signed in 1979 by former president João Batista Figueiredo, determined the pardon of all who committed political or electoral crimes between September 1961 and August 1979. In 2002, during the Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) government, the Law 10,559/2002 established the Political Amnesty Regime, which provides compensation for those who suffered persecution and torture by the State during the military dictatorship. In the same year, the Amnesty Commission was created, responsible for analyzing the processes and judging possible reparations.

The new commission in the Lula government was made official at the end of February 2023, with the appointment of the last members. The group includes former advisors, those persecuted by the dictatorship and jurists. Among the formerly persecuted are Rita Sipahi, arrested with Dilma, and the president of the 64/68-Amnesty Association, Mário de Miranda Albuquerque. For the first time, the commission does not have military personnel. According to the ministry, those chosen have “technical experience, especially in dealing with the topic of integral reparation, memory and truth”.

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