Brazilian president bows under pressure to support permanent secrecy of official documents

After backlash from some government officials, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has changed her mind about a proposed information access law, and now supports the ability to keep official documents secret forever, reported Terra.

Last year, legislators approved an information access bill that would limit how long documents could remain classified to a maximum of 50 years. It is this limit that now is being overthrown.

According to the minister of Institutional Relations, Ideli Salvatti, the change in opinion now positions the government to meet the demands of former presidents Fernando Collor and José Sarney, who are part of the ruling coalition, and who opposed the 50-year maximum, reported Estado de S. Paulo.

Senate president José Sarney advocated for the opening of secret documents from Brazil's recent history, but maintained the stance that some official documents should remain classified forever.

Collor previously had frustrated President Rousseff's plans to approve the information access law on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, by halting the bill's process in the Foreign Relations Committee, which he chairs. Since then, a vote on the bill has been delayed several times.

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.