Brazil to probe its military past

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Twenty four years after the military left power in Brazil, the government is to create a Truth Commission to investigate crimes committed by the security forces between 1964 and 1985.

Brazil is the only country in Latin America which has not investigated deaths, disappearances and torture which took place during its dictatorship, or put alleged perpetrators on trial.

Although the number of victims is far smaller than those who died during military rule in neighbouring Argentina and Chile, nearly 500 people were killed or disappeared in Brazil. Thousands more were tortured, exiled or deprived of their political rights.

All attempts to bring people to justice have foundered on the blanket provisions of the 1979 Amnesty Law.

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