Published June 10, 2012
A group of Brazilian experts will resume the search for the remains of about 70 members of the Araguaia guerrillas, the most active of the groups that took up arms against the dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, Agencia Brasil reported Sunday.
The members of the so-called Araguaia Working Group on Sunday traveled to the southern part of the state of Para, in the Amazon region, where in the late 1960s the guerrilla band operated and was fought and annihilated by the troops of the dictatorship.
The task of the working group, which will begin on Monday, will be to try and locate the remains of at least 70 guerrillas who were killed by the soldiers but whose bodies were never turned over to their relatives and who - human rights movements say - were buried in mass graves.
To date, 40 years after the guerrilla outfit was destroyed by the military, only the bodies of four of the insurgents have been recovered thanks to the efforts of their own relatives.
The search will be resumed at a time when the Truth Commission, created in May by the government of President Dilma Rousseff, has begun working with an eye toward "reestablishing the historical truth" about the human rights violations that occurred during the dictatorship.
The commission, comprised of seven members named directly by the president, will have limited powers since it will not be able to bring to justice the people responsible for the violations who are protected by an amnesty law decreed by the military regime and declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.
The commission, however, is hoping to be able to clarify what happened to the people who were disappeared for political reasons - the number of whom different versions place at about 200 - during the 21 years of military rule.
The commission has received requests for help from relatives of victims in neighboring countries, like Argentina, where it is suspected that several activists who in the 1970s fled their country for Brazil were kidnapped and murdered by agents of the dictatorship. EFE