I just read this remarkable teaser to an investigative series by Rio de Janeiro's O Globo, and translate to file. NB, Michael Astor.
This Sunday, O Globo begins publishing a series of reports titled "Brazilians who still live under the dictatorship," which deals with how the nearly 1.5 million shantytown and hillside dwellers still live under a dictatorship.
They have their fundamental rights violated by armed groups from the traffic or militias or are submitted to every kind of indignity by a police that is ill-prepared and, often, corrupt.
More than 200 interviews were conducted. These are the stories of those who suffered in the flesh or witnessed the suffering of persons who had their rights violated in these "dominated" territories. Since many of them suffered threats, they are identified by code names — a strategy used by militants pursued by the military dictatorship — and in some cases the locations where the crimes occurred have been omitted.
In the course of this series, we are going to look at cases like that of public employee Claudio Daltro, 50, who tattooed a letter with 13 lines on his back. The text, a mixed declaration of love and farewell, is addressed to his son Diego, 23, who disappeared in March after a misunderstanding with a military police trooper from the militia operating in Vila Sapê, in Jacarepaguá.
Diego is one of 10,464 missing persons registered from 1993 until June of this year by the Missing Persons Bureau of the Homicide Division, including data from the Western District and the ["downstate"] Baixada Fluminense. Of this total, 70% of the case, or 7,324 are related to the activities of the drug traffic, and, more recently, the militias.
In the vacuum left by the State, the dictatorship imposed by these groups has produced, in a period of 14 years, 54 times more disappeared persons than those registered in the 21 years of the military regime, which was 136, according to a study by [Torture Never Again.]
In five months, this man who avoids blood tests and injections, using needles, transformed his body into a mosaic in the memory of his son.
"This here is my way, I don't know, of self-flagellation. It is a way of cutting this unbearable pain," said Claudio, referring to the images of his son's face and a broken heart tattooed on his arms after the young man's disappearance.
I have translated the letter Diego on my blog, too. This is quite a remarkable development, given Globo's usual editorial line, I think.