Brazil tells OAS it will not reopen investigation into killing of journalist Vladimir Herzog

By Isabela Fraga

The Brazilian government told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States that it will not reopen the case of the killing of reporter Vladimir Herzog for further investigation due to the amnesty law, reported the G1 on Thursday, June 21.

In March, the IACHR initiated a lawsuit against Brazil for not investigating the death of the reporter during the period of military dictatorship. Herzog died in 1975, in Army facilities of Sao Paulo, after voluntarily presenting himself to testify. Witnesses said that the journalist was brutally tortured and executed, however the official report says that he committed suicide, according to Yahoo.

Vladimir Herzog's family members criticized the Brazilian government's response and said it was "unacceptable," reported the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo. Brazil's response to IACHR's notice is 47 pages long and mentions the amnesty law, which works in favor of government agents accused of human rights violations during the military dictatorship.

The Brazilian government's response about the Herzog case uses the same argument presented in the Araguaia case, according to Beatriz Affonso, director of the Center for Justice and International Law, in an interview with the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. In 2010, the IACHR also criticized Brazil for the killings that happened in the Araguaia guerrilla movement during the end of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.