Charges filed against former agents of Brazil dictatorship

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Brazilian officials are trying yet again to prosecute agents of the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship, targeting two former army officers accused of killing a couple who opposed the regime.

Dozens of earlier attempts to prosecute so-called “Dirty War” crimes have been slapped aside by courts due to a 1979 amnesty law that barred prosecutions for politically motivated crimes under the dictatorship.

The prosecutor’s office said Monday that former army officers Mauricio Lopes Lima and Carlos Setembrino da Silveira “summarily executed” a leftist militant couple after security forces invaded their house in Sao Paulo in 1970.

Prosecutors argue that neither amnesty nor the statute of limitations apply because the executions were part of a “generalized attack” against the Brazilian people and as such were “crimes against humanity.”