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Marighella, Carlos (1911–1969) and the Brazilian urban guerilla movement

Henrique Tahan Novaes

Subject History » Political History

Place South America » Brazil

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, communism, democracy, guerilla war, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00980.x


Brazilian communist militant Carlos Marighella was born in Salvador, Bahia. The son of a poor family, he dedicated his life to working-class causes. During his youth, he protested against racism at school and was arrested and tortured after sending an offensive poem to the government. At 18 he entered the Polytechnic School of Bahia to study civil engineering, but abandoned his studies. A few years later he moved to Rio de Janeiro, becoming a member of the Communist Party (PCB) in 1932. Four years later he was arrested again and tortured for 23 days by Brazilian police, remaining in prison for a whole year. Marighella then moved to São Paulo, where he began to act on two major fronts: reorganizing the revolutionary communists, hardly affected by repression, and the combat against terror imposed by the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas. In 1939 he returned to prison and remained there for six years. Even under brutal torture he refused to give information to the police. In prison he dedicated his revolutionary energy to the political education of other prisoners. Freed in April 1945, he engaged in the redemocratization process of the country, which included the legalization of the PCB. Getúlio Vargas's government was deposed and general elections were called. Marighella was elected deputy in Bahia and allowed to participate in the elaboration of a new constitution (1946). He was considered ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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