Carlos Lamarca
Carlos Lamarca was a Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian Army
Brazilian Army
The Brazilian Army is the land arm of the Brazilian Military. The Brazilian Army has fought in several international conflicts, mostly in South America and during the 19th century, such as the Brazilian War of Independence , Argentina-Brazil War , War of the Farrapos , Platine War , Uruguayan War ...

 Captain who deserted
Deserted may refer to:*Desertion, the act of abandoning or withdrawing support from an entity to which one has given*"Deserted", a song by Blind Melon from their 1992 album Blind Melon...

 to become a communist guerilla member. He was a part of the revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 guerrilla group Popular Revolutionary Vanguard (Vanguarda Popular Revolucionária - VPR) and became, along with Carlos Marighella
Carlos Marighella
Carlos Marighella , was a Brazilian Marxist revolutionary and writer.Marighella's most famous contribution to guerrilla literature was the Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, consisting of advice on how to disrupt and overthrow an authoritarian regime aiming a revolution. He also wrote For the...

, one of the major elements of communist subversion in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Lamarca was the only man in the republican History of Brazil
History of Brazil
The history of Brazil begins with the arrival of the first indigenous peoples, thousands of years ago by crossing the Bering land bridge into Alaska and then moving south....

 to receive the status of traitor, being considered an "enemy of the state
Enemy of the state
An enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crimes against the state, such as treason. Describing individuals in this way is sometimes a manifestation of political repression. For example, an authoritarian regime may purport to maintain national security by describing social or political...

" by the military dictatorship of the time.

Early life

Carlos Lamarca was born on October 23, 1937 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1955, he joined the Preparatory School of Military Cadets in Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with 1,409,939 inhabitants, and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area . It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian...

, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

. Two years later he was transferred to the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras in Resende, Rio de Janeiro
Resende, Rio de Janeiro
Resende is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Its population was 119,801 and its area is 1,144 km².Resendense refers to people or things from Resende, RJ. Its territory boundaries to the state of São Paulo and Minas Gerais...

, in which he graduated as one of the lower ranking cadets of his class, being the 46º placer out of a class of 57 cadets (1960).

Lamarca was a member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Peacekeeping forces
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 in Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 during the Suez War. He later returned to Brazil, where he supported the military coup. In 1967, he was promoted to Captain. In 1969, he deserted from the Army to join VPR, stealing in the process a truck full of military equipment with him.

The theft of the armament was organized and carried out by him and by Sargent Darcy Rodrigues, who supposedly convinced Lamarca to join VPR. Also participated in this operation corporal Mariani and soldier Roberto Zanirato, later murdered under torture in DOI-CODI
The Destacamento de Operações de Informações - Centro de Operações de Defesa Interna was the Brazilian intelligence and repression agency during the military government . This period started on March 31, 1964 with the removal of the civilian government by military forces and ended in the 1984....


Life in guerrilla warfare

Lamarca became one of the most active militants of the communist insurrency to the 1964 regime. He participated in several operations, such as banks robbery and a guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 camp in the extreme south of the state of São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...


In 1970, the Army discovered the camp after the arrest of several VPR members in April of that same year. On May 10, 1970, he participated in the assassination of Military Police officer Alberto Mendes Júnior, who surrendered to Lamarca's group in order to prevent the death of 2 of his fellow soldiers, who were severely injured and needed medical assistance. Mendes was then cowardly executed by Lamarca with several blows to the head with the buttstock of a rifle.

In the same year, Lamarca commanded the kidnap of the Swiss Ambassador Giovanni Enrico Bucher, with the purpose of switch him for political prisoners in Rio de Janeiro; in this kidnapping, the Federal Police Agent Hélio Carvalho de Araújo was shot to death by Lamarca. Araújo was in charge of the Swiss Ambassador's security.

Lamarca left VPR and joined the Revolutionary Movement 8th October
Revolutionary Movement 8th October
The Revolutionary Movement 8th October is a Brazilian political movement, formerly an urban guerrilla group...

. The new group sent him to Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

, with the purpose of starting a Revolution in the countryside. On September 17, 1971, he was found by the Army in the small town of Pintada (currently Ipupiara), where he was killed while trying to resist arrest alongside VPR member José Campos Barreto (also known as Zequinha Barreto).

Personal life

Lamarca was married to Maria Pavan, who was his foster sister, and had two children with her. His wife went into exile in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 because of the risks she was facing in Brazil. Lamarca also became romantically linked to Yara Yavelberg
Yara Yavelberg
Yara Yavelberg was a Brazilian psychologist and university lecturer, who committed suicide in Salvador, Bahia.-Biography:...

, a partner in his communist activities.

Yavelberg was killed two days before Lamarca, under suspicious circumstances in an apartment in Salvador
Salvador, Bahia
Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

, capital of Bahia.

Amnesty and tributes

After several years and open opposition from the mass media, Lamarca's family successfully obtained indemnification for his death from the Amnesty Commission of the Ministry of Justice. His widow and children was granted 300,000 reais
Brazilian real
The real is the present-day currency of Brazil. Its sign is R$ and its ISO code is BRL. It is subdivided into 100 centavos ....

 as a compensation for the time they lived in exile in Cuba. Lamarca's widow will also receive an allowance equivalent to a general's wage
A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis....

, according to the Amnesty Law of 1979.

The City Hall of Ipupiara built a public square in the location where Lamarca died. It is equipped with a playground, a fountain, a canteen, an amphitheatre and a statue of Lamarca. The Praça Capitão Carlos Lamarca (Captain Carlos Lamarca Public Square) was inaugurated on January 13, 2007. The city also paid a tribute to Lamarca by creating a law which added September 17, the day of his death, to the list of local holidays.

Cultural references

Carlos Lamarca was interpreted by Paulo Betti
Paulo Betti
Paulo Betti is a Brazilian stage, film and television actor. He also works occasionally as a film producer and director.-Biography:...

 in two films, both of them directed by Sérgio Rezende
Sérgio Rezende
Sérgio Rezende is a Brazilian filmmaker. He is most known for directing several biographical films, such as Lamarca, Mauá - O Imperador e o Rei, and Zuzu Angel, about guerrilla leader Carlos Lamarca, entrepreneur Irineu Evangelista de Sousa, and stylist Zuzu Angel Jones, which embarked in a...

. The first was Lamarca's own biopic and the other was a movie about fashion designer Zuzu Angel Jones
Zuzu Angel
Zuleika Angel Jones, better known as Zuzu Angel , was a Brazilian-American fashion designer, who became famous for opposing the Brazilian military dictatorship after the forced disappearance of her son Stuart. Zuzu was also mother of journalist Hildegard Angel.-Biography:As a child, Zuzu moved to...

, whose Brazilian American
Brazilian American
Brazilian Americans are Americans of Brazilian origin. There were an estimated 351,914 Brazilian Americans as of 2008, according to the United States Census Bureau. Another source gives an estimate of some 800,000 Brazilians living in the U.S...

son was a member of the Revolutionary Movement 8 October alongside Lamarca.
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