National Truth Commission: a critical perspective on the advances and limits of the transitional justice agenda in Brazil

Carolina de Campos Melo and Andrea Bandeira de Mello Schettini

Chapter published in 2021 (in Portuguese)

Abstract: This chapter intends to discuss the scope of the term “transitional justice”, coined in the 1990s, in reference to institutional efforts in the face of authoritarianism and internal conflicts. By being internationalized, gaining prominence on the agenda of the UN and other international organizations, transitional justice has been conceived as a standard set of mechanisms to be implemented in different realities, even if no longer linked to the idea of transition. Under the monopoly of human rights discourse, criticism of underlying social issues has escaped the field, with a naturalization of the liberal political and economic model. Five years after the publication of the Final Report of the National Truth Commission and in the face of the setback that the Bolsonaro government has entailed for the implementation of transitional justice mechanisms in Brazil, we propose an analysis of the work of the National Truth Commission and the construction of its final report, understanding the limits of its analysis which has been guided by the transitional justice agenda.

Full Publication: MELO, Carolina de Campos; SCHETTINI, Andrea B. M. Comissão Nacional da Verdade: uma perspectiva crítica sobre os avanços e os limites da agenda da justiça de transição no Brasil. In: ASSY, Bethânia; BERNARDES, Marcia; PELE, Ilie Antonio. (Org.). Direitos Humanos: entre captura e emancipação. 1d. Rio De Janeiro: Editoria PUC-Rio, 2021, pp. 141-166.