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Brazil Releases Secret Files on Military Dictatorship

21 December 2005

The Brazilian government has released secret intelligence files compiled on dissidents during the country's 1964 to 1985 military dictatorship.

Some 220,000 microfilm files and 1,259 boxes full of photos, pamphlets were among the documents transferred Wednesday from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency to the National Archive in Brasilia.

Presidential Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff - a former guerrilla fighter held prisoner during the dictatorship - attended Wednesday's handover ceremony and said the release of the files would allow society to reflect on the values of democracy.

But one human rights campaigner, Cecilia Coimbra, tells the Reuters news agency the files say nothing about torture, killings, disappearances, or burials. She accused the government of knowing the whereabouts of other secret documents and not handing them out.

At least 450 people are thought to have been killed for political reasons during Brazil's 21-year dictatorship.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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