Half a century ago, Jean Marc von der Weid was strapped to a pole and bludgeoned with clubs by Brazilian security agents seeking information about his fellow leftist student leaders.
His torturers also attached wires to his fingers, toes, ears, tongue and penis, and blasted him with electric shocks. At one point, he recalls, they subjected him to a simulated firing squad.
"They said, 'If you don't talk, we will definitely shoot you,' " says von der Weid. "I remember one guy saying, 'Do you want to smoke your last cigarette?' I replied: 'No thanks, I don't smoke.' "