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May 3, 2012 9:17 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

Brazil lawmakers investigate human rights abuses

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - Brazilian legislators have started investigating human rights abuses committed during the South American country's past military regime.

Congresswoman Luiza Erundina tells reporters the move is meant to pressure the government to appoint the members needed for a truth commission that is supposed to independently investigate crimes committed by the dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985.

In November, President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a bill that established the truth commission, but she has yet to appoint its seven members, who will have two years to investigate and complete a report.

Unlike Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, which also had repressive military regimes, Brazil has never punished military officials who committed human rights abuses.

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