RIO DE JANEIRO – In September, the Court of Sao Paulo rectified the death certificate of journalist Vladimir Herzog, who died during Brazil’s dictatorship era. According to Brazilian online media reports, the certificate no longer lists suicide as the cause of death.
The legal document now cites “death resulted from injuries and ill-treatment in Army II – SP (DOI-CODI),” referring to the Portuguese language acronym for the Army’s Department of Information Operations – Center for Internal Defense Operations in Sao Paulo, the agency responsible for intelligence and repression during the military government (1964-1985).
Vladimir Herzog died in Sao Paulo Oct. 1975
Intelligence agents captured, tortured and killed Herzog on the premises of the country’s political police in Sao Paulo, in October 1975. The agents then staged a suicide; taking photos showing what they claimed represented the reporter’s suicide by hanging.
The decision to change the official cause of death fulfills a request made by the National Truth Commission, represented by Minister Gilson Dipp, at the request of Herzog’s widow, Clarice. The committee is investigating human rights abuses committed by the government during the dictatorship.