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If the turn signal and brake light share a bulb, the turn signal switch can be the point of failure.
That's interesting since the turn signals work perfectly. Grrrr.
The rear lighting module assembly on each side of the van has 3 bulbs mounted vertically. Top bulb is dual filament and provides tail lamp and stop lamp on each filament. The center bulb is dual filament and provides tail lamp and turn signal / hazard flasher function. Bottom bulb provides back up illumination with the transmission selector in reverse. So the turn signal and brake lamp function are NOT shared by the same bulb as is common on other vehicles.

Do the tail lamps illuminate when headlight switch activated? Do the backup lamps illuminate when the ignition is in RUN position and the transmission selector is in reverse? If yes to both situations that means the ground circuit is good. All bulb circuits in the rear lighting assembly share the same ground path. If NO to both situations then you need to trace the ground problem.

Remove the tail lamp assembly. There is a ;6 wire connector that plugs into the assembly. Disconnect. Use a volt-ohm meter set to read voltage. Have a helper depress the brake pedal to activate the brake lamp circuit. Probe the white / tan tracer wire at the connector. (White / tan tracer wire color is the scheme used on 2000 mini-vans. Hopefully it is the same for an earlier model.)There should be 12 volts. If yes then the problem lies in the circuit board built into the lamp assembly. If NO then you need to trace the white / tan tracer from the output of the brake pedal switch into the distribution block under the dash. But since the center, high mounted brake lamp illuminates I would think the brake lamp pedal switch is performing correctly.

I suspect the problem is in the circuit board in the rear lamp assembly. Here is a link to a discussion about this same issue earlier this year.
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