Cecilia Maria Bouças Coimbra
This profile was prepared when Cecilia Maria Bouças Coimbra was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Cecilia Coimbra founded Tortura Nunca Mais to uncover and denounce acts of torture and violence. She is battling the perpetuation of violence and impunity which characterize the relationships of power in Brazil. Tortura Nunca Mais is the only organization drawing a parallel between the systematic violence of the military regime and the socially- and politically-sanctioned violation of human rights occurring in present-day Brazil. Employing psychology, education, and legal action, Cecilia is working to ensure that Brazil not only remembers the terror its citizens went through but also recognizes how atrocities against today's poorest members of society clearly mirror the dictatorship's human rights violations and reflect a social system that preserves impunity and violence as weapons against its people.