WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
23 Apr 2024 | News

WOLA Applauds Efforts to Declassify U.S. Documents on Brazil’s Military Dictatorship

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) alongside the Washington Brazil Office and other Brazilian civil society organizations supported a congressional letter that circulated this month calling on President Biden to declassify documents related to the period of Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. In addition to Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Susan Wild (D-Penn.), who organized the effort, the letter garnered the signatures of 14 members of the U.S. House.

Coming on the heels of the 60th anniversary of the coup that ushered in two decades of military rule in Brazil, still classified documents may hold clues to the U.S.’s role in supporting the dictatorship. Declassifying the trove of 13 documents outlined in the letter would represent an important step toward truth and reconciliation. Similar to the Biden administration’s decision last year to declassify documents on the 1973 Chilean coup d’état, this gesture of transparency would serve to fortify the U.S.’s stated commitment to human rights in the region.

“As we strive to foster open dialogue and strengthen the ties between our nations, we believe that declassifying these documents will demonstrate our dedication to transparency, justice, and the advancement of democratic principles. By doing so, we can contribute to healing historical wounds and ensuring that the lessons of the past guide our efforts toward a shared future founded on democracy and human rights.”