The proposed discussion intends to racialize the production of memory about the business-military dictatorship (1964-1985) in Brazil. Torture is the foundational landmark not only of this period, but of the colonial-slavery experience itself that organized the foundation of the Brazilian State and its institutions. From a legal and historical perspective, this discussion rethinks slavery as a laboratory for the later use of force by the state as well as of the constitution of public (in)security policies that primarily victimize black, indigenous, and dissident bodies, even their very existence. As one of the ideological mechanisms of the business-military regime, the myth of racial democracy mobilized long-standing processes of dehumanization that inscribed racist logics and practices in the operations led by public (in)security forces during and after the dictatorship. The goal is to trace some of these continuities that can be exemplified in the recent episode of torture known as the “case of the red room” that occurred in 2018. In so doing, this presentation follows a path different from that laid out by state and federal Truth Commissions in Brazil. Far from being one factor of many, to be registered and redressed, the category of race is not only built into but also encompasses the wider field of oppression and domination that delimit the choices guiding the current model of transitional justice model being carried out in Brazil.
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This event is part of the IGI Blueprint for Transitional Justice in the US Series.