RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil's defense minister has agreed to investigate military facilities where human rights abuses are believed to have been committed during the country's 21-year dictatorship, the National Truth Commission said Tuesday.
The announcement came a day after the 50th anniversary of the coup that launched the dictatorship in the South American nation, and as a melee on the floor of Congress forced the suspension of a special session marking the date.
In a statement on its website, the National Truth Commission said Defense Minister Celso Amorim agreed Tuesday by phone to form inquiry units within the armed forces to probe military installations thought to have been the sites of torture.
The commission requested the formation of the units earlier this year.
Meanwhile, a fight in Brazil's Congress forced suspension of a session marking the anniversary of the military coup that led to the 1964-85 dictatorship.
Television channels broadcast images of pandemonium in the House of Representatives as supporters and opponents of the coup faced off. The fight broke out among members of the public attending the session.
The G1 internet portal of the Globo television network ran images of two women attacking one another as security personnel attempted to separate them.
G1 said the lawmaker presiding over Tuesday's session suspended it several times in an effort to restore order before definitively adjourning it.
The report said families of victims of torture under the dictatorship were among attendees.