Alexandre Vannucchi Leme

Image: Marcelo Guimarães Lima


In XNUMXst century Brazil, torturers, supporters and torturers still sleep peacefully

In 1973 I was studying philosophy at USP, in improvised barracks as classrooms while the new FFLCH building on campus was still being built. It was my second year of studies and that semester I was attending the evening course. That night, at the beginning of classes, someone announced the arrest of the geology student, Alexandre Vannucchi, in the corridor of the philosophy course shed. There was a small movement among the students, discreet because the atmosphere was very tense.

I headed for the entrance to the nearby School of Communications, whose director was believed to be someone linked in some way to the regime and, therefore, to repression. There was a small concentration of students from various units there. In groups they communicated and discussed the prison very discreetly. The concentration itself was already a “silent demonstration”, that is, a protest avoiding speeches, posters, slogans, etc., but significant within the climate of terror imposed by the military business dictatorship. A solidary protest against the student's imprisonment and against inaction, and even what was pointed out as complicity by certain university authorities.

I didn't know Alexandre Vannucchi personally, but I knew something about his role in the movement and student representation within the university. Enough reason to express my solidarity and to protest in any way possible, or impossible under the circumstances, against the damn dictatorship, its politicians, its businessmen who support repression, its various accomplices, its murderous torturers and its military against the country.

Our mere presence in front of the university building on that gloomy, starless night, on a darkened and sleeping campus, was already a challenge to the terrorism of the Brazilian military police state in the university space. We expected police repression at any moment, the price to pay for our nonconformity and protest. The repression did not finally come that night, they would perhaps have more urgent tasks, busy with tormenting a student imprisoned for his political choices, a young man without defenses in the face of the unspeakable cowardice of professional torturers. Every torturer is a coward, as are his principals and supporters.

Repression did not disperse us that night on the USP campus. Justice was also lacking at that moment, it was lacking for Alexandre Vannucchi, for all opponents of the military business dictatorship and for the country. As it still is today. Justice has failed in Brazil and continues to fail. Until when?

In Brazil in the 2016st century, torturers, supporters and those who ordered torture still sleep peacefully. Likewise, all those who facilitated and profited from the dictatorship sleep peacefully. Among them, as one of the important factors of the dictatorial period, the large groups of the Brazilian commercial media. The same ones who promoted the XNUMX coup, and who are now rehearsing new coups against the popular government of Lula da Silva.

On our side, we have the memory, that is, the permanent reminder of the value and courage of our dead like Alexandre Vannucchi and so many others. It guides us in the chaos produced and managed by those who profit from the oppression and material and moral misery of our people. In us lives the indignation of Alexandre Vannucchi against the misery and oppression imposed on Brazilians, in us remain the indignation and courage of all those who fell in the struggles against tyranny, lies, violence, cowardice and hypocrisy of the oppressors in Brazil yesterday is today.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.

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