Brazil's Lula sacks general opposing probe into human rights violations

15:12, February 12, 2010      

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dismissed a general for criticizing a commission investigating the country's former military dictatorship, the official Daily of the Union said Thursday.

Lula signed the dismissal decree on Wednesday night after General Maynard Marques de Santa Rosa claimed that the government was creating a "slander commission" to investigate human rights violations during the military dictatorship.

The four-star general said in a statement published by the local daily Folha that the Truth Commission would be composed of "fanatics who took kidnapping, bank robberies and terrorist acts as means of fighting the regime to gain power during the nation's 1964-1985 dictatorship."

The commission was set up as part of the National Human Rights Plan launched in December 2009.

The government plan, aimed at probing the cases of torture during the military rule, could result in a revision of the 1979 Amnesty Act, which left the crimes against humanity during that period unpunished.

The dismissed general was considered one of the last active hard-liners in the army, and had already starred in other contentious situations.

In 2007, General Rosa left a post at the Ministry of Defense for political rift with the government over the demarcation of the indigenous reserve Raposa Serra do Sol, in the Amazon region, near the border with Venezuela.

Source: Xinhua
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