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according to Volks ‘turns a page at a tragic moment in the country’

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São Paulo – At noon on Thursday (24), former Volkswagen workers and widows of former employees will meet at the headquarters of the ABC Metalworkers Union, in São Bernardo do Campo, to decide the next steps after announcement of an agreement between the automaker and the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the recognition of actions supporting Volkswagen’s dictatorship. As a result, three civil inquiries opened in September 2015 are closed. The process originated from a request made by several entities, such as union centers and IIEP (Exchange, Information, Studies and Research), in addition to lawyer Rosa Cardoso, that in the National Truth Commission he was part of the working group that investigated the relationship between companies and dictatorship.

The Volks case was the most advanced, but there are other companies that can now be held responsible. “It is a milestone. It has become an important page, especially at such a tragic moment that our country is experiencing ”, says the president of the Association Heinrich Plagge, which brings together former employees of the automaker, Tarcísio Tadeu Garcia Pereira. The name of the entity honors one of them, who died in 2018. For Tarcísio, the agreement “is to rekindle a new hope in the struggle of Brazilian workers”.

Complicity with repression

The agreement, actually a Conduct Adjustment Term (TAC), was announced by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), the State of São Paulo (MPSP) and Labor (MPT). Under the extrajudicial agreement, the company assumes obligations not to take legal action “on the company’s complicity with the dictatorship’s repression bodies”. Among other things, the company will allocate R $ 36.3 million to former workers – persecuted or tortured – and to initiatives that promote human rights.

“Throughout the investigations, the Public Ministries identified Volkswagen’s collaboration with the repressive apparatus of the military government from thousands of documents gathered, information from witnesses and researchers’ reports, one hired by the MPF and another by the company itself”, affirm the MPs in joint note. Of the total amount, R $ 16.8 million will be donated to the association, to be shared between former workers and relatives of victims. “The money will be shared among former employees who have been harassed for their political guidelines, following criteria defined by an independent arbitrator and under the supervision of the MPT.”

Memorial and bones

Another R $ 10.5 million “will reinforce Transitional Justice policies”. One of them, which will have R $ 6 million, is the Memorial da Luta por Justiça, a project by the São Paulo section of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB-SP) and the Political Memory Preservation Center (NPMP). A further R $ 4.5 million will be allocated to the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) to finance research on the collaboration of companies with the dictatorship and the continued identification of bones found in 1990 in a clandestine ditch in Dom Bosco Cemetery, in the neighborhood of Turkeys, northwest region of São Paulo.

Bellentani (first left) and other former workers. Inside the factory, the company released a report to ‘reconcile’ with the past

The payment of R $ 9 million to the Federal and State Funds for the Defense and Repair of Diffused Rights is also planned. “The company will also publish a public statement on the subject in major newspapers on the subject,” recalls the MPs. It is estimated that disbursements will occur in January.

Democratic weakness

“The adjustment of conduct established on this date is unprecedented in Brazilian history and has enormous importance in the promotion of Transitional Justice, in Brazil and in the world”, state the prosecutors. “Facing the legacy of human rights violations by dictatorial regimes is a moral and legal imperative. It is not possible to turn ignoble pages of history without full disclosure of the truth, reparation for the victims, promotion of the responsibility of the authors of serious violations of human rights, preservation and dissemination of memory, and effecting institutional reforms, under penalty of democratic weakness and recurrence risks ”, They add.

Documentary shown on German TV in 2017 shed more light on the subject and put pressure on the company. Those responsible for the work, journalists Stefanie Dodt and Thomas Aders, will be on Thursday in São Bernardo. They told the story of Lúcio Bellentani, a worker arrested in the middle of the factory in 1972, with the help of the company, arrested and tortured. Bellentani died just over a year ago. By the way, Tarcísio, who joined Volks in 1969, the height of the dictatorship, in the tooling shop, was his apprentice – and replaced Bellentani himself in the presidency of the association.

Disregard for institutions

In addition, even in 2017, the company itself released a report, prepared by a German historian. He acknowledged the participation of some officials in supporting repression, but not institutional participation.

“Brazil, unfortunately, continues to be a notable case of resistance to the broad promotion of this agenda (of Transitional Justice). And, not by chance, expressions of disapproval echo their democratic institutions, ”say the prosecutors involved in the negotiations. “In the world, on the other hand, there are still rare episodes of companies that accept to participate in a process of this nature and to review their responsibilities for collaborating with authoritarian regimes.”

Now, other companies will continue to be investigated. The association of former Volks employees is expected to become an entity that will bring together workers persecuted by the dictatorship in the ABC region.

read more
• Volks and the rugged repair path. ‘We lost battles, but not all,’ says Rosa Cardoso
> Former Volks employees go to the factory and charge for chase repair
• Volks and the dictatorship: workers try ‘exemplary’ agreement
> Dictatorship wage policy helped Volks compress wages and increase profits
• Centrals want punishment of companies that were ‘barracks’ during the dictatorship

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Economy

11 million Bolivians will have free vaccine against covid

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São Paulo – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales commented, this Wednesday (21st), the importance of youth in the electoral process that led Luis Arce, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to victory in the presidential election of October 18 . “Young people saw what it is like to live under the right and the dictatorship. And they reflected on how we were with our revolution and how we were under the coup, ”he said. Evo was overthrown by a coup in November 2019 that brought lawyer and TV presenter Jeanine Áñez to the presidency. With 90% of the official count completed. at 3:40 pm on this Wednesday (21st), Luis Arce approaches 55% of the valid votes. “What was at stake on October 18 was to go back to the past with the privatists or continue to the future with the nationalists,” said Evo Morales in an interview with Breno Altman (watch below).

Asked how the country will recover from the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, he replied that it will be with the presence of the state. The Bolivian guaranteed that Bolivia will normalize relations with China, Cuba, “some European countries” and Russia. “Those who once asked for market, market, market, now say State, State State, in the face of the pandemic.”

Vaccine against covid-19

“We are going to face the pandemic. When we have the vaccine, we will distribute it to all 11 million Bolivians for free. ” According to him, tackling the pandemic and the crisis will be done through joint work between the federal government, governors and mayors.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro not only boycotts health policies, but goes further. On Wednesday, he forbade the country to buy the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, which would have 46 million doses through negotiations with the state of São Paulo announced the day before by the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello. “I don’t give up my authority”, justified the Brazilian’s head of state.

South America

About neighbors in South America, Evo Morales highlighted the “profound ideological and programmatic difference” between MAS and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, from Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the former Argentine president Mauricio Macri. But it was diplomatic. “Whether it is left or right, we must work together respecting our differences. South Americans cannot be isolated, ”he said.

Morales acknowledged that he may have been mistaken as president. “I was wrong, but I am a human being,” he said. “Now we have experience in public management, and we are going to take Bolivia forward, united, organized.” He affirmed that the new government will make “a pact of union between the parties of the right, businessmen and workers, a great national agreement, to raise the economy”, adding: “The moment is to consolidate our process of change, democracy does not end on election day ”.

Evo has been in Argentina since December 2019, where he went into exile after the coup in the country. He said that the return to his country still has no forecast. In an interview with BBC Brazil, the president-elect was not positive about the possible participation of the ex-president in the new government. “If Evo Morales wants to help us, he will be very welcome. But that does not mean that Morales will be in the government. It will be my government, ”he said.

Check out Evo Morales interview with Breno Altman

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