Sixteen years ago today, 325 heavily-armed police officers raided the 9th Pavilion of the Carandiru Prison Complex in São Paulo, Brazil, and executed at least 111 inmates in one of the worst human rights atrocities in Brazilian history. According to witnesses, as many as 300 prisoners were killed (images of the massacre have been uploaded here).
Despite years of mobilization in the human rights community, the case has gradually faded from public memory. Until this day, none of the 88 officers directly charged with the killings have been brought to justice. Their crimes will reach the end of their statute of limitations in 2012. The colonel in charge of the operation - Ubiratan Guimarães - was initially sentenced to 632 years in prison but later acquitted on grounds of mistrial (before serving any time). He was later found dead in his apartment in an apparent crime of passion.
Strikingly, there has been little public debate - even in the blogosphere - about the massacre and the deadline for legal action. In this interview, a survivor of the Carandiru massacre breaks his silence to call for justice. "We must not forget; forgetting only generates
more impunity. What about those that died?"
[Note: This interview was conducted by Raquel Quintino from the Universidade de Comunicação Livre. Click here to watch the unedited interviews in Portuguese.]