The locale is still associated with the assassination and forced disappearance of activists who opposed the dictatorship. The Central Army Hospital was founded in through a decree signed by Marshal Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca , replacing the old Military Hospital that had stood in an old mansion in Morro do Castelo since The name change was accompanied by the construction of new hospital facilities in the Benfica neighborhood in the central region of Rio de Janeiro.
The hospital was inaugurated in June of During the military dictatorship, the activists sent to the HCE were kept in specific wings of the hospital, such as the psychiatric infirmary and the thirteenth prison infirmary. The decision to hospitalize political prisoners was aimed, in many cases, at guaranteeing the physical recovery of the victims so that they could be interrogated under torture again at a later date, as well as at continuing their psychological torture.
A series of testimonies makes this evident. The case of Estrella Bohadana is one of the most emblematic. In the words of the activist:. The state in which one returned from torture was, in general, a very, very unfortunate state. When I came to, I was already in a hospital cell. But even so, the interrogations continued, there, inside the same hospital, without physical torture, of course, but with obvious psychological, emotional torture, I mean, with lots of threats.
Right there in the HCE, I had contact with other comrades. Marcos Arruda, who was in the male wing, was also barbarously tortured. There, no one had been less than barbarously tortured. Me I , for example, when I left the hospital, I went back to being tortured. I went back to Barra Mansa, and then I went back to being tortured, everything all over again. I mean, when I thought that the thing had ended.
Because, really, what could they want from a prisoner after three months of torture? There is no more information to give. I went through three days of terror in the DOI-CODI until December 25, Christmas day, and spent all of Christmas night listening to screams of those being tortured, waiting for my turn to be taken. Maybe I had been spared because I had a seizure. They stopped giving me medicine for three days, and then they took me back to the HCE. Aquino and Doctors Elias and Mota were still there. The head of security was Major Sadi, later replaced by Captain Morais, who by exception treated us like human beings.
She was sent to the PIC again after her recovery:. But there is evidence that in addition to being the space for the recovery of the political prisoners, the HCE was also a space for interrogations and physical torture. Due to the violence suffered, Raul was taken to the HCE by recommendation of an official doctor on August 4 of that year, where he passed away about a week later.
História do Café no Mundo
More recently, the medical-legal report elaborated by expert Nelson Massini and presented in a public hearing organized by the CEV-Rio in August proved that Raul Amaro was physically tortured in the HCE in at least two distinct moments. This indicates that Raul suffered new lesions after checking into the hospital. This was the first case in which the practice of physical torture within a military hospital during the dictatorship was proven.
In addition to the assistance and cooperation with the practice of illegal imprisonment and torture, the HCE also helped to falsify official reports on victims of state repression. Such action was taken mainly to conceal the true causes of death of the activists, who had been assassinated by agents of the State, and the systematic practice of torture against those who opposed the dictatorship.
The autopsy report, modified by the medical service of the HCE, reiterated the official version that Severino had committed suicide inside his cell. A team of experts with the CNV managed to deconstruct this version of events and identify inconsistencies in the report, concluding that Severino was assassinated by state agents.
The history of the HCE brings up an important discussion about the role of medical professionals during the military dictatorship. Instead of saving lives and attending to the health of the sick, some of these professionals were accomplices in the carrying out of grave human rights violations. The participation of doctors in torture even involved their presence during interrogations, where they would supervise torture and resuscitate the prisoner, administering treatment before, during, and after the sessions.
During the sessions, the doctor determined if the prisoner could continue being mistreated or if it was necessary to reduce the degree of violence so the prisoner would not lose consciousness and thus be able to continue giving information. The participation of doctors also involved the omission of tests and the falsification of reports, autopsies, and death certificates. In this sense, covering up clear signs of torture and concealing of real causes of death of those who had been assassinated was common. Finally, medical professionals concealed bodies. Coroners were normally tied to the Secretariat of Public Security and would, in some cases, contribute to the forced disappearance of activists.
We can identify the names of the doctors who served the military regime in Rio de Janeiro. On September 23, , the CNV and the CEV-Rio began to investigate the HCE in order to search for the patient medical records from the military dictatorship era and to identify the places where political prisoners were held inside the hospital. The patient medical records were not found, and the Army denied their existence. An anonymous tip made to the MPF, revealed that patient medical records for political prisoners were deliberately hidden on the eve of the investigation carried out by the CNV and the CEV-Rio in September of that year, and that they could be found in a building attached to the hospital.
During the search, patient records from and were found in a locked room in an adjacent building, in addition to plastic bags with records of patients attended to during the military dictatorship, proving that the Army had, in fact, concealed relevant documents. Dossiers with names, photos, and information on members and advisors of the commissions that had participated in the investigations during the dictatorship were located during the same search.
Geracao Em Transe: Memorias Do Tempo Do Tropicalismo (Portuguese Edition)
This was one more piece of evidence indicating that the military presidents were always aware of the torture carried out by state agents and that patient records exist and are being concealed by the Brazilian Army in a fully democratic period. Even today, family members of the dead and disappeared, as well as former political prisoners, fight to have access to these medical patient records. During this event, testimonies of former political prisoners were heard.
Acervo Raul Amaro Nin Ferreira. Pasta Documentos, p. Rio de Janeiro: agosto, Testemunho de Estrella Dalva Bohadana. Acesso em: 22 maio Agosto de Rio de Janeiro, agosto, Arquivo CEV-Rio. Acesso em 22 maio The metalworkers of Rio de Janeiro were among the most sought after groups, since they were one of the most organized and active divisions of the trade union movement on the national level.
Along with the seizure and destruction of documents that other institutions suffered, this raid greatly affected the way history and memory are constructed in Brazil. As early as April , minister of Labor Arnaldo Sussekind, appointed by the general president Castelo Branco, formalized the interventions in hundreds of unions, including the metalworkers of Rio de Janeiro. Unionized metalworkers were the target of investigations about Communist activities, assembled in a Military Police Inquiry IPM , and the union headquarters were used as a location for interrogations.