The reality of torture

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By ADRIANO DIOGO*

Many stories of the dictatorship have not yet been told, they will have to be. But that's not why we're going to be scared

It may seem very strange that social networks have exploded with revulsion at the association that Bolsonaro made, or could have made, in his phrase “whoever is on the right, takes chloroquine; who is on the left, tubaína”.

This phrase could presuppose, in addition to the use of the super-sweet soda known in São Paulo, a provocation or an allusion to the intubation method, which would be an “intubaína”, or to the different methods and denominations of the practice of torture by drowning used in prisons. , police stations and torture rooms during the dictatorship. As much against political prisoners as against common justice prisoners and victims of the death squad.

If we go back to Tuesday, May 19.05.2020, XNUMX, the controversy in the press was to assess which sentence was more offensive to the Brazilian people: Bolsonaro's sentence or Lula's sentence.

The inadequacy of using the expression “still good” led to Lula being mocked by the traditional corporate media, in the same proportions as Bolsonaro, who talks about atrocities every day.

As if we were in the middle of a dictatorial war, where the media and businessmen said that there were two demons, on one side: the military torturers, and the young people who resisted the dictatorship called terrorists.

At that moment, when Bolsonaro makes a new type of provocation every day and always invoking the memory of the dictatorship, Lula was placed on the same level, with the treatment that Bolsonaro gives to deaths resulting from the pandemic.

Bolsonaro systematically and intentionally speaks phrases coined and based on Ustra and other torturers. Including there, his favorite "I'll send you to the end of the beach", which for the most naive can mean an isolated beach, without sun, with pebbles. But its strong and real meaning refers to the years of lead.

Colonel Paulo Malhães, testifying at the National Truth Commission and the Rio de Janeiro State Commission, explained in minute detail how they disappeared with the body of Deputy Rubens Paiva. There was a need to throw him at the bottom of the sea or in some mangrove, so that his body would not be discovered, it would be necessary to remove his viscera, replacing them with stones, as was done. Rubens Paiva was thrown at the end of the beach, in the sandbank of Marambaia, in Rio de Janeiro. Same sad end of many other victims of the dictatorship.

The same thing happened to those who were incinerated at Usina Cangaíba, in the north of Rio de Janeiro. They would disappear after being fatally tortured in the House of Death, in Petrópolis. Then they were taken to Campos dos Goytacazes.

Bolsonaro never saved. As he did not skimp on federal deputy Maria do Rosário or as in his audience at the headquarters of Hebraica in Rio de Janeiro, in his speech about the quilombolas. He didn't skimp when he said it was necessary to eliminate thirty thousand Brazilians, starting with former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He didn't skimp when he wanted to cede indigenous lands to mining. He spared no expense in announcing the rearming of the civilian population and the need to kill the street population, as in a case in Rio de Janeiro, under the allegation of self-defense.

Never saved. The last one was on his jet-ski ride, which replaces the famous barbecue on the Planalto on the day that Brazil broke the record for daily deaths from Covid-19, when it announced that 70% of the Brazilian population would be infected and that, if the lethality rate were 4%, we would reach 6 million deaths.

From then on, there was a barrage of questions about the appearance of the term tubaína in some memorial report by the National Truth Commission, by the Projeto Brasil Nunca Mais, by Bagulhão – which was the report of political prisoners in São Paulo, produced from the Tiradentes prison. The nomenclature was not found in any of these documents.

It is a fact that drowning techniques, however cruel they were, by immersion or insertion of liquids (water, brine, castor oil) not only through the mouth, but also through the anus, were abundantly documented, but without mentioning the word tubaína. And it is likely that this “torturer's jargon” may never appear. Like so many other facts that have been suppressed for over 30 years, despite all the efforts made so far.

We could open all the documents of the truth commissions and find exactly that recording, as in the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo (Alesp) where we recovered, and Juca Kfouri released to the world, the speech of José Maria Marin, as a state deputy, and Nabi Chedid asking for Vlado's head, calling TV Cultura de TV VietCulture.

We may never find the term in the archives, but let it be clear that there was never an attempt at fraud, but to explain everything that happened in the period and that the phrase and intentionality every time Bolsonaro speaks and we see the expression of evil, of seeking to criminalize those who have been tortured and persecuted.

From there came the big headline of the day “Tubaína was never pronounced as a torture technique”, although several police officers, referring to the method of drowning, used terms such as “submarine”, “voyage to the bottom of the sea” or “let's take a drink”. tubaina”.

Many think that only those who survived are able to testify, but the dead and missing also speak. Inês Etienne Romeu, survivor of the House of Death, once quoted that she has a voice. The dead in Araguaia, those buried in mass graves in Foz do Iguaçu speak to this day.

Em The Goat Marked for Death, Eduardo Coutinho told the story of João Romão who was placed in a pot, full of shit and tortured there with electroshocks. It wasn't tubaína, maybe in Pernambuco soft drinks had other names, but that didn't stop João from drowning.

Perhaps it is not in any memoirist document how Ustra used the expression of the torturers saying “I sent Alexandre Vannucchi Leme to the celestial vanguard, I just killed that son of a bitch Minhoca”, on the Saturday I arrived at Oban and Alexandre had just died of so much torture he suffered continually. While Major Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, completely mad with his Magnum in hand, proposed the murder of all the prisoners who were there, after the murder of Alexandre Vannucchi.

Perhaps none of the memoirists will know that, while the students of the University of São Paulo (USP) were organizing the seventh day mass in the Cathedral of the Sé, on the Thursday following the death of Alexandre, Ustra, maddened and with a gun in his hand, cursed the Cardinal Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns of the most terrible, absurd and abject things. He attacked their sexuality, their moral integrity and human dignity. All this on the occasion of the celebration of the acknowledgment mass that the possible suicide Alexandre had, in fact, been murdered in the premises of the DOI-CODI, having his body thrown to Rua João Boemer, in Brás, to be crushed by a truck that there passed.

Many of these things may not have been recorded, such as Sueli and the other 70 dead and disfigured from the Araguaia, whose remains were never returned. Many stories of the dictatorship have not yet been told, they will have to be. But that's not why we're going to be scared. Bolsonaro's speech had a double meaning, maybe we don't know exactly what it is. But it is not the tubaína that should put us in opposing camps.

*Adiano Diogo, a former state deputy for the PT, chaired the Truth Commission of Alesp-SP.

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