Washington, DC July 31 2019.- The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) strongly condemns the recent statements made on July 29 and 30 by the President of Brazil, where he harassed the President of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Felipe Santa Cruz.
In his statements, the Brazilian president suggested having information about the disappearance of Felipe's father, Fernando Augusto de Santa Cruz Oliveira, who was the victim of forced disappearance by agents of the military dictatorship in 1974. The National Truth Commission (CNV) concluded in Fernando Santa Cruz was "arrested and killed by agents of the Brazilian state and remains missing without his remains being handed over to his family".
CEJIL, as an organization which represents the relatives of victims of forced disappearance in the Inter-American Court in the Gomes Lund Case v. Brazil (Guerrilla do Araguaia) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Luiz José da Cunha “Creole” case, expresses its deep dismay over the recent statements made by the Brazilian President. They show the manifest noncompliance with the international obligations of the Brazilian State and the indifference to the suffering experienced by relatives of those who were disappeared during this period of time.
We recall that in Herzog v. Brazil, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I-A Court) considered as a proven fact that from 1974 the disappearance of political prisoners by the civil-military dictatorship became the predominant rule. We further emphasize that enforced disappearance is permanent as long as the whereabouts of the victim are not known or their remains are found, which is why states have a duty to investigate and punish those responsible, in accordance with their obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights.
We condemn the refusal of recognition of the facts established by the CNV, as well as any initiative directed at the historical review and mitigation of crimes against humanity committed by the Brazilian dictatorship. Finally, we express our solidarity with the family members of the dead and missing by the civil-military dictatorship, especially the Santa Cruz family, and reiterate our commitment to continue demanding responses from the Brazilian state internationally.
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