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11784 - The role of the Brazilian media in the struggle over memory of the military past

In contrast to other post-authoritarian countries in Latin America, post-military Brazil is still trying to come to terms with its military past (1964-1985). Competing historical narratives persist and the dictatorship continues to be a highly contested matter. This paper analyses the role of the Brazilian media in the memory struggle over the military past and the Brazilian Truth Commission in particular. It deconstructs how large parts of the Brazilian media have discredited the former Human Rights Minister Paulo Vannuchi of the Working Party (PT), other members of the government of ex-President Lula (2002-2010), and officials working for the current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. With poignant examples I will illustrate that parts of the largely privately owned Brazilian media continue to make use of the vocabulary of the military regime (‘perpetrator vocabulary’). Paradoxically, some of these newspapers and magazines were repressed during the dictatorship and subjected to censorship (systematic censorship was installed in 1968). I conclude that large parts of the Brazilian media have obstructed a shift towards a more balanced and ‘historically correct’ narrative of the military regime.

Keywords: Brazil, media, historical narrative, memory, historical justice

Author: Nina, Schneider (..., Germany / Deutschland)

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