Volkswagen, Embraer summoned in Brazil dictatorship probe
By Brian Winter
SAO PAULO Feb 26 (Reuters) - A "truth commission" investigating crimes during Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship has summoned Germany's Volkswagen AG and five local companies to testify whether their collaboration with the regime led to rights abuses.
The commission created by the legislature in Sao Paulo state, Brazil's most populous, wants the companies to "explain their actions during the period of repression" in sessions on Friday and Monday, according to a statement.
The other companies are Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA , industrial firms Grupo Aliperti and Cobrasma SA, port operator Companhia Docas do Estado de Sao Paulo (Codesp), and Companhia Metropolitano de Sao Paulo (Metro), which operates the city's subway system.
The companies were selected based on the strength of evidence suggesting they collaborated with the military to repress and intimidate union activists, said Sebastião Neto, a labor advocate working with the commission.
The companies are not legally obligated to send representatives to testify, but some said they would, Neto said.
"It's time we hear how the companies justify themselves," he told Reuters.
A Codesp spokeswoman said the company would send a representative to Monday's session but declined further comment. Representatives at Cobrasma and Embraer, which was controlled by the government prior to its privatization in 1994, declined comment.
Volkswagen, Grupo Aliperti and Metro did not respond to requests for comment. Continuación...