the riddle of the zoot

the riddle of the zoot

Matt Nguyen

Professor Ruvalcaba

History 364

History 364 Final: The Cycle of Pain and Truth

Throughout the history of South America, authoritarian regimes and the ways they have

held power were similar in the methods they used to maintain their iron fist leadership. In Brazil,

like so many other countries in South America, torture was a popular form of brutality in

controlling the civilian population to put down any forms of dissent or unrest. To understand the

nature of torture in Brazil, you must first make yourself aware of the definition of torture which

is, “The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them

to do or say something, or even for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain.” In Brazil, not

only was torture tolerated, it was encouraged and institutionalized. The military regime

established in Brazil from 1964 to 1985 created a vast number of elaborate methods and

techniques of torture to obtain any sort of information that would prove valuable to their efforts

in keeping order. Through the course of Part 1 in, “A Miracle, A Universe”, there were countless

numbers of atrocities that were recorded by the military junta which were eventually used against

them. However, to the surprise of some, it did not have that much of an effect as the authors of

the project intended. If we are to understand this mystery, we must examine the nature of torture

in Brazil and how it operated, understand the purpose of truth-seeking that aimed to uncover

these crimes against humanity so that we may be able to answer the questions of if the victims of

these tortures received justice at all and if those responsible behind the tortures were punished in

the end.

The nature of torture in Brazil was nothing more than a mechanism to silence the

opponents that would threaten the fragile stability that the military junta established. To the...

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