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Soccer legend Pelé probed by Brazil’s military junta, records show

April 2, 2013

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Football legend Pelé was investigated by Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, records released on Monday showed.

The records are among nearly 300,000 digital files posted on the “Political Memory and Resistance” portal made public by the state of São Paulo.

“It’s all public,” said Governor Geraldo Alckmin, noting that people can access the records from their homes. “It is very important in terms of transparency and freedom of information for the families of victims during the dictatorship period.”

The portal, accessible at www.arquivoestado.sp.gov.br, includes 274,105 files.

The Cold War-era military regime often probed leftists, as well as people suspected of being leftists.

The file belonging Pelé – whose real name is Edson Arantes de Nascimento – includes details on money transfers, newspaper article cutouts related to assaults on his home in 1973, and police reports.

President Dilma Rousseff, a former leftist rebel who was tortured and jailed by the dictatorship, last year put in place a truth commission to probe human rights abuses. But she did not strike down the amnesty for those who committed crimes of repression, which has been in place since 1979.

Pelé is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, having won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, as well as scoring 1,281 goals during his career.

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