The furnace at Usina Cambayba, CamposFinally the 40 year-old wall of secrecy around the atrocities committed by the Brazilian dictatorship is being broken. In this disturbing two-part documentary, featured in Al Jazeera’s People and Power series, Claudio Guerra, a former executioner for the military dictatorship, takes the film crew to a large furnace at Campos, once used for distilling sugar, where the bodies of victims of the dictatorship were burnt. “Instead of burying or throwing the bodies into the sea,” he says, “we cremated them to get rid of all the evidence.”  Guerra himself was a member of the army squad that carried out this work and he transported 12 bodies. Imprisoned later for the attempted murder of a gangster who was blackmailing the military, he became a born-again Christian, agreed to testify to Truth Commission lawyers investigating disappearances and has written a book detailing the torture and killings, identifying places and naming other military and civilians implicated. The film includes a brief interview with Bernardo Kucinski, who is told that Guerra took the mutilated bodies of his sister and brother-in-law to the furnace. LAB has recently published a powerful novel, written by Kucinski, about his father’s search for his disappeared daughter. See the Al Jazeera article and videos of the documentary.

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