“No one leaves there without marks”
Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, is a torture survivor who thinks about the torture victims of the past and of the present.
Last Saturday, 1 January 2011, Ms Dilma Rousseff opened her first official speech as Brazil’s first female president by saying that she would not use the opportunity to boast about her own life story. However, most people would agree that her story, from enduring torture and prison during the country's 21-year military dictatorship to taking the helm of Latin America’s largest nation, is remarkable.
Almost 40 years ago, in January 1970, Dilma Rousseff was arrested in São Paulo due to her
participation in the movement of resistance against the dictatorship. She was taken to a prison kept by the Bandeirantes Operation (OBAN), an organisation created by the Brazilian Army to investigate members of the resistance against the military regime. There Dilma Rousseff survived 22 days of intense torture. One of the few occasions on which she spoke about what she went through during her time in prison was in an interview with the Brazilian journalist Luiz Maklouf Carvalho two years ago.
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