Brazil president to receive apologies for torture

May 19, 2012, 3:46 AM

Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) – The Rio de Janeiro state government said Friday it will apologize to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for the human rights abuses she suffered during the country’s 1961-1985 dictatorship.

Rousseff is a former leftist guerrilla who spent three years in prison during the dictatorship and was tortured.

Paula Pinto, a spokeswoman for Rio’s Social Assistance and Human Rights Department, said Rousseff is one of 120 people who will receive apologies from governor Sergio Cabral on June 4 for the imprisonment and torture they or their relatives suffered in the state.

Rousseff and the others will also receive the equivalent of $10,000 under a compensation law passed in 2001, she said, adding that the president plans to donate the money to charity.

She said that 650 people have so far received restitution due to the law.

Earlier this week, Rousseff swore in the seven members of a truth commission created to investigate human rights abuses under the dictatorship.

“We are not moved by revenge, hate or a desire to rewrite history,” Rousseff said at the swearing-in ceremony. “The need to know the full truth is what moves us.”

A study by the Brazilian government concluded last year that 475 people were killed or “disappeared” by agents of the military regime. A 33-year-old amnesty law has protected members of the military from being held accountable for any crimes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Brazil president to receive apologies for torture