Eva F.


As Interviewed by Maria S., April 2013

Eva F.: In Her Own Words

During the military dictatorship in Brazil, there were people like Vicente and I that were against the dictatorship and the tortures, deaths, and persecution by the military because they didnít accept anyone who werenít for the actions they took. You couldnít talk about how you were against them, everything was censured, the movies, newspaper, everything. They closed the congress, eliminated the elections, took over the power, put people in jail, tortured and killed, so I had to be against it. My dad was for the military.

Did your father know you were against the military?

Yes, of course he did. He was worried, we discussed a lot about it, but I was a grown woman, I was almost 30 years-old, I didnít need his permission.

I think my brothers were against it but werenít as involved in stopping them as Vicente and I. We were part of one of the many groups against the dictatorship. We were part of a group called AÁ„o Popular. A lot of people [we knew] were arrested and tortured. We were scared when we were here in Brazil because, any second, they could arrest you. Vicente had already been arrested. He was going to be judged, condemned, and then he was going to jail.

After you were exiled, where did you go?

We went to Chile. Vicente had an invitation to work at the Catholic University there, and they had a more open government Ė that was Salvador Allendeís government that later on also went through a coup díetat. [After the coup in Chile], the Brazilian police was affiliated with the police from Chile, and the police from Chile would handcuff the Brazilians there who were exiled from Brazil. That is when Vicente stayed in jail for three months.

We went to Holland and then to Canada. We lived in Holland for a year [and] in Canada five years. In Holland there was this group of people who were exiled from their countries because of dictatorship from the entire world. There was a house where we all lived. The government of Holland was really good Ė they gave us shelter, food, some money, clothes, classes to learn Dutch. In Canada, I worked at the University and I found my job on the newspaper.

During that time period there werenít the facilities there are nowadays. We could communicate, but I communicated only a few times because phone calls were really expensive. I remember that I called twice, when my father died and when [Uncle] Rogťrio died. But I used to write a lot of letters.

There were good things that happened. I finished my masterís degree; Vicente did his PhD. We made lots of new friends, met new countries. But it was also really bad, because you canít come back, you donít know if you will ever be able to come back. We never lost hope that we were coming back.

Did you want to come back?

Yes, of course, but you canít. A lot of people were arrested in the airports coming back. We only came back because of the Anistia in Brazil, which was this fight to get the people who were out of the country because they were exiled back in Brazil. There were millions of Brazilians in other countries.