Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilRubriquesColloques2013Repensando los populismos en Amér...Democracy, Thuggery and the Grass...

Repensando los populismos en América latina (mediados del siglo XX)

Democracy, Thuggery and the Grassroots: Antoine Magarinos Torres and the União dos Trabalhadores Favelados in the Age of Carioca Populism

Brodwyn Fischer


Shantytowns have long been critical to urban popular politics. In Brazil, both phenomena gained strength from 20th century mass urbanization, and the two have been locked in a relationship of mutual dependency ever since. Yet – given high political stakes – it is notoriously difficult to glimpse the internal dynamics of these informal dependencies: to understand how politicians used shantytowns to achieve their own political goals, to comprehend frustrated attempts at mass radicalization, to gain insight into residents' political strategies and the ways in which political connections could grow on the basis of local thuggery. This paper will analyze these issues by tracing the story of Antoine Magarinos Torres, a communist lawyer who was a central figure in Brazil’s shantytown politics in the 1950s. Admired for his role in founding Brazil’s first citywide shantytown federation, Torres later faced charges of land grabbing, violence, and political manipulation – precisely the abuses he’d built a career combating. While the accusations were politically motivated, the case revealed a wide variety of internal shantytown conflicts, ranging from ethnic and turf disputes to disagreements about the just bases for land claims or local rule‐making. Torres’ political demise did not spell the end of shantytown politics in Rio. But his story highlights the difficulty of "community organizing" in places with deep internal divisions and a long history of political exploitation, and also demonstrates the ways in which politicians eager to limit the impact of local governance adeptly exploited such fragilities.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

  • 1 For orientation in the extensive literature on the emancipatory possibilities of grassroots lawmaki (...)

1Grassroots neighborhood activism has often enthralled those seeking to radically re-conceptualize democratic citizenship in Brazil. For political activists, urban popular movements of the 1970s and 80s emerged as an antidote to populist demagoguery and left wing isolation from the popular masses, two mid-century phenomena widely blamed for Brazil’s descent into military rule in 1964. For legal scholars and reformers – on the left and the right – grassroots regulatory practices and legal pluralism hold insurgent promise as a remedy to centuries of disjuncture between law and social practice, which has helped to make weak citizenship a defining feature of Brazilian poverty. For many intellectuals, every instance of local organization substantiates a continuous history of popular agency in the name of “perspectives of equality,” even in the face of severe repression and disenfranchisement.1

2These visions share a deep optimism about the transformational potential of democracy and urban social movements. They portray urban grassroots currents as running in constant opposition to the forces of private power, patronage, concentrated wealth, social exclusion and institutional violence. As political hope, and political strategy, such visions serve critical purposes. But when it comes to exploring the historical dynamics of grassroots organizations, or those movements’ place in Brazil’s political or legal history, such optimistic visions can obscure as much as they illuminate. Popular organizations, by their very nature, often opposed or subverted established power structures. But they also emerged within those structures, enduring and strategizing in a historical context in which organizational survival was not a given and laws and institutions, however idealized, never monopolized the exercise of power. In the rough and tumble struggle for urban rights and political self-determination, neighborhood organizations competed for legitimacy with other visions of social justice and democratic practice, and often faced violent opposition from within and outside the established government. Such groups sometimes claimed to serve interests they did not, or resorted to frankly undemocratic tactics in the service of community or organizational survival. However uncomfortable, these realities raise important questions about the dialectical relationship between grassroots organizations and their political contexts, and about the emancipatory promise of change from below.

  • 2 Sociologists of “plural law” in the context of drug trafficking (notably Desmond Arias and Alba Zal (...)
  • 3 For an idealized insider’s view of the UTF, see Manoel Gomes, As lutas do povo do Borel, Rio de Jan (...)

3It is generally quite difficult for historians to broach such questions through critical engagement with the internal dynamics of urban popular organizations. Community groups generally leave sparse paper trails, and politics of memory are especially complex when historical representations still have enormous bearing on urgent material issues. Labor historians have sometimes navigated similarly choppy waters, but historians of urban popular movements – what few they are – for the most part have not.2 This essay, taking advantage of an unusually rich documentary cache surrounding an especially prominent grassroots organization, seeks to carve out an exception. In the pages that follow, I explore the coexistence of democratic currents and anti-democratic practice through a microhistory of one of Brazil’s most distinctive mid-century movements – a pan-urban favela federation from Rio called the União dos Trabalhadores Favelados (UTF).3 At its height, the UTF was the first organization of its kind in Brazil, and perhaps in all of South America, and did more to advance grassroots organization in poor communities than any Brazilian group ever had. At its nadir, the organization and its chief architect, lawyer Antoine Magarinos Torres, were accused of the very forms of land grabbing, violence and corruption they had organized to fight against; these accusations, while never fully proven, eventually helped to destroy the UTF, if not the communities it had fought for.

4The UTF’s rise and fall was just one episode among many in the centennial struggle for land and urban rights among Rio de Janeiro’s urban poor. The mid-century iterations of these movements have sometimes confounded students of democracy and legal pluralism: they contain more social “movement” than social “movements,” and their moments of collective mobilization can appear episodic and ideologically incoherent. But mid-century struggles over urban land and permanence constituted meaningful forms of engagement with politics, rights, or democracy for generations of poor residents in cities across Brazil. In that context, these movements’ ideological and institutional awkwardness can provide great insight: this is what grassroots organizing looked like in mid-20th century Brazil, and even its most contorted manifestations – such as the story I am about to tell – open a small window onto the daily practice of plural law and democracy in a profoundly uncertain political and institutional terrain.

Favelas: Bellwethers of 20th Century Democracy?

  • 4 On the history of Rio’s favelas, see Fischer, Poverty; Rafael Soares Gonçalves, Les favelas de Rio (...)

5In a certain sense, the history of Brazilian democracy has been inscribed in the physiognomy of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest neighborhoods. The scrappy shacks that comprised Rio’s earliest hillside favelas were, quite literally, refuges from the First Republic’s elitist and draconian urban legal regulations, which marginalized poor people’s homes in much the same way that the Republic’s political and legal systems marginalized the illiterate, the Afro-descendant, the poor, and the unconnected. From the 1920s forward, with the rise of urban populism, favela shacks multiplied and spread across the city, but they were still made of secondhand materials and cut off from city services; their residents were no longer clandestine, and were far from quiescent, but they remained supplicants in an emerging urban compact that tolerated and profited from favelas without granting them rights or permanence. In the post-war democracy, some favela neighborhoods attained a sturdier extralegal countenance: swamps were filled; alleys gave way to muddy streets, lined by tangled masses of pirated electric wires; water spigots sometimes saved women and children the hard treks to collect water in old oilcans; residents constructed houses from more permanent materials. Almost no one had full “rights,” to the city or otherwise, but many demanded them, and residents’ precarious but real political clout gave them good reason to imagine their communities extending across generations.4

  • 5 On the remoções see Lícia do Prado Valladares, Passa-se uma casa: análase do programa de remoção de (...)

6The military coup of 1964 dashed many such hopes, and the 1960s and early 1970s saw a number of violent favela expulsions: if the dictatorship had a physical expression in Rio, it was the wholesale burning of the Praia do Pinto favela, on the shores of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio’s tony South zone, and its eventual replacement by high-rise apartment buildings destined for military officers.5 But this period was both restricted and relatively brief: distensão, abertura, and democratization were incarnated in the favelas by brick, cinderblock, and glass windows: expensive materials that proclaimed residents’ faith in their communities’ permanence (along with the futility of less concrete investments in the age of hyperinflation). And in the last decade and a half, as Brazil’s democratic governments have sought to wrest control of favela space from druglords and other private powerbrokers, favela physiognomy has become an almost cartoonish space of contestation: city officials have sought to “urbanize” the “comunidades” with streets, drainage pipes, cable connections, schools, brightly painted façades and cable lifts even as graffiti, bullet holes, and ubiquitous consumer goods associated with drug money have given eloquent testimony to the continued inadequacy – and frequent hypocrisy – of such attempts. A hundred and twenty years after the first favela was named, the physical borders between Rio’s formal and informal spheres remain immediately discernible, as apparent as the ubiquitous legal failures and restrictions on full economic and social citizenship that still challenge the practice of Brazilian democracy.

  • 6 Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, New York: Verso, 2006.

7The point of this crude geo-historical tour is simple. Mike Davis and others may present the rise of a “planet of slums” as a cataclysmic degradation of a supposedly global urban ideal.6 But, at least in Rio, there is a strong argument to be made for the favelas as the embodiment of democracy’s inconstant emergence – a wrenching, century-spanning process involving both heady idealism and a humbling coming-to-terms with the historical limitations of Brazil’s paper republics, wherein most “citizens” have had scant access to unrealistic laws and inaccessible rights, and wherein democratic and legal institutions have engaged in a constant tug-of-war with private and informal structures of power. The forging of an urban democracy, in this context, has not entailed creating a system where favelas can be made “urban”; it has, rather, required a reframing the urban ideal, in such a way that it incorporates the social realities that favelas have come to symbolize.

  • 7 For a more detailed explication of these developments, see Fischer, especially chapters two and eig (...)

8Such reframing arguably began with the favelas’ very birth, and has crested in recent decades. But it reached an earlier peak in Brazil’s postwar Republic (1946-1964). This period brought rapid political, demographic, and economic shifts in Rio: a few years of broad political opening, followed by nearly two decades of restricted but highly competitive electoral politics; intense mobilization of certain sectors of civil society, from both the right and the left; mass migration from the countryside; rapid industrialization and expansion of public-sector employment; intense real-estate speculation; tumultuous contestation of the limits of newly minted legal regimes. In that context, favela residents tested the power of democratic institutions in myriad ways, forming neighborhood associations, occupying new public spheres (spatial, political, and cultural), forcing politicians and parties to bring their demands to the center of local and national political debate, and claiming civil and property rights in court in ways that recalled the 19th century freedom suits so critical to abolition. Throughout these struggles, favela residents and those who sought to represent them used languages of democracy and rights, grounded in the capacious provisions of instruments as varied as the idealistic 1946 constitution, the heavily amended 1916 civil code, and the newly minted criminal and procedural codes. Their many achievements – chiefly the defeat of scores of private eviction attempts and the widespread de-legitimization of urban development schemes that aimed to remove favela communities from Rio’s cityscape – are testimony to favela residents’ creative appropriation of this early democratic opening: as I have argued elsewhere, these were the struggles that rooted favelas in Rio’s urban landscape, and has ensured their survival on highly valued lands in the face of fierce private and public opposition.7

  • 8 For an idealistic view see, especially, Boaventura de Souza Santos, op cit, and James Holston, op. (...)

9As important as it is to recognize those achievements, and the early adherence to democratic and legalistic struggle that they represent, it is also critical to recognize their context, and their limitations. These struggles’ context was one in which legal and democratic forms were only some of the vectors through which power operated. Private structures of patronage and power, often backed up with considerable violence, competed with and penetrated public institutions, even in Brazil’s postcard city and political capital. Civil rights were mostly honored in the breach among the poor and undocumented, and legal reasoning was only one of the considerations that shaped judicial decisions regarding property and political freedom. The struggles’ limitations were rooted in that reality. The language of law and democracy was only one of the movements’ idioms, and their success was often premised on an unholy alliance of private profiteers, wily politicians, and neighborhood activists (never mutually exclusive categories). Neighborhood associations claimed to be democratic or representative, but those claims’ validity was often in the eyes of the beholder: despite generations of idealists who have seen virtue in grassroots lawmaking or organic legal pluralism, local consensus about the composition and aims of neighborhood associations often lasted scarcely longer than the eviction threats that spawned them, and local organizations were frequently dominated by ideologues or autocratic profiteers and power grabbers, many of whom did not hesitate to exercise violence in asserting local control.8 And while it would be appealing to assert that the favelados’ achievements during the postwar period occurred despite these anti-democratic currents, construed as external to the period’s key community movements, such a view would be more idealistic than accurate. The hard-won permanence of Rio’s favelas was due in no small part to the fact that they served a wide range of mutually contradictory interests, and that residents rarely disturbed that convergence by adhering entirely to any one ideology, party, political figure, or mechanism of power – democratic, legalistic, or otherwise. Therein lay the movements’ strength, and also their weakness, their inability ever to inscribe their neighborhoods into the legal cityscape, or to enjoy the rights, privileges and obligations that would come with legal recognition and institutional embededness.

10In my 2008 book, A Poverty of Rights, I fleshed out this argument, ending my tale of Rio’s property wars with an enduring mid-century truce that at once muffled threats of mass eviction and made it clear that the favelas’ fates would be governed by political tolerance rather than legal guarantees. In what remains of this essay, I will explore the limitations of that truce, and its implications for the relationship between grassroots favela politics and the language and practice of law-bound democracy. To tell this story, I will swoop from macro-history to micro-history, recounting spectacular downfall of the leader and activist generally recognized as the father of the favelas’ first citywide federation: lawyer and communist activist Antoine Magarinos Torres.

AMT and the founding of the União dos trabalhadores Favelados

  • 9 Nísia Trinidade Lima, “O Movimento,” p. 106.

11Antoine Magarinos Torres’ history as a favela leader ended in 1962, amidst sordid allegations of murder, land-grabbing, and political radicalism. It began, heroically, eight years earlier, in the favela of Borel, a northern hillside community that was also home to one of Rio’s most storied samba schools (Unidos da Tijuca, f. 1931). In early 1954, in the midst of a turbulent and highly politicized wave of attempted favela evictions, Borel’s supposed “owner” – allegedly in cahoots with Rio’s mayor and local police – threatened to throw Borel’s 4000 moradores out of their homes. Residents – including many who had resided on the hill for four decades or more -- reacted with typical resourcefulness and eclecticism. They capitalized on their ties with storied intellectuals and politicians from neighboring Tijuca, many of whom had worked in Borel through the church or through the communist-inspired neighborhood federations that had sprung up around Rio in the late 1940s. They sent commissions to the press, publicizing their desperation, their long-term occupation, and the violent illegality of police activities surrounding the eviction. And, again following in the footsteps of many other favelados, they decided to hire a lawyer to block the eviction through the courts. Reportedly guided by a Pai de Santo with whom they had sought spiritual guidance, local residents resolved to seek out Antoine Magarinos Torres, the 39-year old son of a late, well respected desembargador and President of Rio de Janeiro’s Tribunal de Juri.9

  • 10 “Para combater a miséria e a grilagem,” Imprensa Popular, April 22, 1954.

12Magarinos Torres was already known for his leftist leanings, and there were ample precedents for his participation: communist lawyers had begun to bring favela property cases to courts in Rio and Recife as early as the 1920s, and had been heavily involved in communist favela organizing during the party’s brief window of legality in the late 1940s. After meeting in his home with a self-constituted commission of local leaders, Magarinos Torres energetically took on Borel’s cause. By early February 1954, he had filed a criminal complaint in the name of 548 Borel families against local police who had set out to enforce the eviction order. Weeks later, as many as 1,000 residents marched with Magarinos Torres to the home of appellate court judge Sady de Gusmão, and a similar number marched on the National Congress to demand action. The eviction was postponed, but in the following months Magarinos Torres continued to complain about police miscreants and to lay the political groundwork for larger scale protest. In early April, the conflict again erupted: police destroyed more shacks in order to build a road to the top of the hill, and 500 people marched on the municipal council and federal congress. Days later, residents staged a pitched battle against workmen hired to lay down the road, and in its wake they and Magarinos Torres decided to take the struggle a step further. On April 21, 1954, in front of more than a thousand residents and numerous politicians, church officials, and labor leaders, Borel’s leaders announced the founding of the União dos trabalhadores Favelados, or UTF – an unprecedented citywide federation of local associations that aimed to ensure, in Magarinos Torres’ hopeful phrase, that “not a single favela in Rio will go without its own union.”10

  • 11 By the end of 1956, Rio’s political police had already identified the UTF as a communist front, alt (...)
  • 12 Lei 2875/56

13Such optimism proved futile in the short term, but the UTF had chosen its moment well. Borel wasn’t the only large carioca favela threatened with violent eviction that year, and Magarinos Torres and the UTF quickly reached out to leaders in other communities – most prominently Dendê, Santa Martha and Morro da União – threatened with similarly violent eviction. By the end of the year, more than a dozen favelas were involved with UTF marches, press campaigns, and vigorous victory celebrations, and the organization – though already heavily identified with the communist cause – was cooperating regularly with sympathetic wings of the Catholic Church and left-leaning populist politicians.11 Even in a political context where favela struggles had assumed ever broader political and legal dimensions, the UTF stood out for its rights-based rhetoric, its legalism, its fiery denunciations of land-grabbing and private appropriations of public power, and its demands for a permanent, institutional solution to the favela problem. The UTF never managed to place property titles in the hands of embattled residents. But it was, along with populist politicians and various Catholic organizations, critical to the passage of a series of measures that blocked evictions across Rio: the most important of these, passed by the federal congress in 1956, effectively froze expulsions in all favelas for at least two years.12 Though unevenly enforced, the law was extended several times, and marked the effective end of an era when land claimants could expect a smooth profit from selling land out from underneath Rio’s largest informal communities: from that point forward, favela land conflicts were more frequently adjudicated through politics than through the courts.

14The UTF aimed to build a permanent political constituency from these struggles, and is recalled in heroic terms today as the predecessor of all of Rio’s pan-favela organizations. But both the organization and its leader quickly faced – and also perhaps came to embody – the complications and contradictions of Brazil’s postwar democracy. On the one hand, the UTF struggled to maintain unique relevance in an atmosphere where – partially due to the UTF’s own efforts -- favela defense had been widely adopted by political moderates (and demagogues of all stripes). In the late 1950s, centrist populist politicians stepped in to defend favela permanence, and the Catholic Church – led by widely respected Bishop Hélder Câmara -- cooperated with the federal government to create a massive organization called the Cruzada São Sebastião, explicitly dedicated to the on-site upgrading of certain favela communities. By the early 1960s, another government group – the SERFHA, led by sociologist José Arthur Rios – had emerged in open competition with the UTF, organizing local resident associations in more than 75 communities and proclaiming a philosophy of local organization and self-help that took much of the wind from the UTF’s sails. As these organizations gained prominence, clear political rifts emerged among the groups that had united behind the 1956 struggles. Magarinos Torres ran unsuccessfully for municipal office in 1958, and both he and his followers assumed a more strident political stance, denouncing competing church and governmental organizations for corruption and inefficacy.

  • 13 “Cêrco ao Distrito: Prisão do Advogado Provoca Sucessivos Tumultos na Tijuca,” Última Hora, 2 May, (...)
  • 14 “Queixa-Crime contra o Prefeito Negrão de Lima, Ordem dos Advogados na Defesa do Líder dos Operário (...)
  • 15 APERJ, Pol Pol, Administração 1Y, Dossiê do DFSP, Divisão da Polícia Política e Social, Serviço de (...)
  • 16 SAGMACS, 1960, p. 4.

15At the same time local politicians and police officials used their considerable capacity for political repression to marginalize both Magarinos Torres and the UTF in the name of anti-communism. In 1957, political police launched an inquiry into the “subversive activities” of the UTF and its leaders from Borel. In 1958, the same year in which Magarinos stood unsuccessfully for election to the municipal council, a power struggle erupted in a small north-zone favela called Mata Machado (or Vila Cachoeira) between a UTF- affiliated neighborhood association, local police (who were, residents claimed, working in conjunction with a local landgrabber), and church and city officials who were seeking to install outposts in the community. The conflict turned violent in early May; police and church and city authorities accused Magarinos Torres and the local UTF of desecrating a cross and damaging municipal property, and UTF members accused officials of collusion with land grabbers, violence and destruction of private property. Magarinos Torres was eventually arrested along with several other UTF members and taken to the nearby 17th Police District. News of the arrest spread like wildfire, and a huge, angry crowd assembled outside of the police station, made up mainly of favela residents from Borel and Mata Machado.13 Magarinos Torres was eventually let go – thanks to the intervention of prominent politicians and friends in the legal profession – but the Mata Machado/Vila Cachoeira association was shut down and the Magarinos Torres lost the right to practice law until Brazil’s National Bar Association brought a criminal accusation against the mayor for illegal interference.14 Shortly thereafter, political police tarred Magarinos Torres as a “specialist in agitation among the federal district’s favelas,” and files were opened on virtually every other UTF leader who had ever signed a petition or attended a rally.15 By 1960, thanks in good part to a virulently anti-communist press campaign supported by the UTF’s erstwhile allies from Church and social service circles -- Magarinos Torres’ reputation had taken a beating. One of the most respected favela studies ever published -- written in part by José Arthur Rios, who led SERFHA, one of the most progressive government favela agencies -- characterized Magarinos Torres as a local tyrant who practiced the very forms of exploitation he denounced, calling him “an authentic villain from an epic western....”16

16Even in these circumstances, Magarinos Torres retained extraordinary loyalty among Borel residents, and continued to seek political office and take on the defense of additional favela communities. But the stage was set for a final confrontation in March of 1962, this time in the seaside favela of Maré, and in circumstances that involved murder. Here, Magarinos Torres would face the usually litany of evils, which he had by then become expert in enumerating: land-grabbing, populist jockeying, political repression, police violence and local thuggery. This time, however, there was a twist: a significant local faction turned those accusations right back on Magarinos Torres, in the process calling into question everything that he and the UTF claimed to stand for, and exposing as no other case did the deep contradictions of community activism in a context of continued political repression and competing vectors of power.

Democracy in the Maré?

  • 17 Mauro Amoroso and Rafael Soares Gonçalves, “Memória hagiográfica e movimentos sociais urbanos: a mi (...)

17I should say from the start that it is virtually impossible to sort out the truth in this case, either from the hundreds of pages of police documents and press articles that it generated, or from local residents’ modern recollections, which tend to reproduce earlier fissures.17 Two distinct and artfully constructed story lines emerge, involving radically different visions of rights, rules, representation, and power – not to mention wildly varying versions of the case’s basic facts. Either could be a wholesale lie; more likely, both are partially untrue. But in their webs of truths and untruths, both accounts shed light on the suspicion, corruption, and insecurity that surrounded both institutional and grassroots forms of democratic practice in mid-20th century Brazil.

18This much we know for certain: on March 11, 1962, a man named Eufrásio Severino da Silva was murdered by José Vasconcelos with three gunshots, following a confrontation between the two in the part of the Maré complex now known as the Parque União. The murder followed nearly a year of escalating tensions between community members over issues of land, money, ideology, and organization, complicated considerably by outside intervention by local and political police, the governmental favela agency (SERFHA), church officials, the UTF, and politicians ranging from local vote bundlers to socialist and communist deputies to Rio Governor Carlos Lacerda. Such struggles had been carried out partially through legal and democratic channels: a civil suit, a long string of formal criminal complaints, public meetings, formal incorporation of the neighborhood association, petitions, demonstrations, appeals to the press. Interlaced with such legalistic and democratic tactics was brute violence, probably on both sides: shack burnings, illegal searches and seizures, harassment, threats – and, finally, Eufrásio’s murder, which spurred two criminal accusations against Magarinos Torres and his local allies – one for land grabbing, another for involvement in the murder – and catapulted the case to citywide attention.

  • 18 “Gang operava no conto do barraco,” A Noite, March 13, 1962. See also “Magarinos cria regime de ter (...)
  • 19 See “Advogado Autor Intelectual do Assassinato do Favelado,” A Noite, July 27, 1962.

19The version that dominated both press coverage and initial police reports cast Magarinos Torres as one of the most villainous double crossers in the storied history of carioca land-grabbing. The assassin José Vasconcelos – dubbed “Zé Russo,” perhaps for his supposed communist loyalty – emerged as a mere “capanga” (armed henchman) for Magarinos Torres, whom the press characterized as head of a “group of clever crooks who form a veritable gang in order to exploit families of poor workers.”18 Considerably embellished by sympathetic papers – some of which based their stories directly on police press releases19 – the backbone of this story could be found in a long string of depositions recorded in Rio’s 19th police delegation. These witnesses characterized themselves as humble outsiders, who had come to Maré – like favela residents throughout Rio – in search of a little bit of land on which to stake an urban existence. Street vendors, drivers, construction workers, federal employees, and single mothers all converged on a tale that would have been f all too familiar to anyone who knew anything about the quotidian workings of Rio’s quickly expanding favelas.

20The clearest distillation of this story appeared in the police deposition of João Alexandrino da Silva, a northeastern migrant, skilled construction worker for SERFHA, and cousin of the murdered Eufrásio. Alexandrino, as he is called in most witness testimony, arrived in Maré a year or two before the conflicts started, when the area was little but swampland and no one interfered with anyone else. When rumors of a SERFHA-led expulsion began to circulate, one of the residents decided to call on Magarinos Torres, based on his reputation as a powerful friend of threatened favelas. Magarinos Torres accepted the charge, setting up a neighborhood organization, re-naming the area the “Bairro Operário Desembargador Magarinos Torres (after his father), and collecting money that he said would cover court fees and neighborhood improvements.

  • 20 APERJ, Pol Pol, InquéritosTestimony of João Alexandrino da Silva, March 3, 1962.

21Soon thereafter, however, some residents began to smell a rat. Chief among them was João Alexandrino, who was by then president of the local association, and collected all of its fees. In Alexandrino’s retelling he had initially paid and collected the fees without question, trusting that Magarinos Torres was using the funds to defend local land claims and “urbanize” a favela initially entirely destitute of water, drainage, electricity, schools, or roads. As the months went by, however, Magarinos Torres raised the fees, charging as much as 40,000 cruzeiros as an entry fee, in addition to a monthly charge of CR$1000. The promised improvements never materialized. Magarinos began to demand that new residents be registered voters, and that they go along with his “political activities,” imposing increasingly violent penalties – expulsions, shack burnings, beatings – on those who violated his terms. When João Alexandrino began to question those activities – leaving the local association, seeking a personal audience with Governor Carlos Lacerda to report the “crimes” and circulating a petition against Magarinos Torres that would eventually become the foundation for the police land-grabbing inquiry – Magarinos Torres began a series of steadily escalating threats against Alexandrino and his family, which culminated in his cousin’s assassination. By the time of the inquiry, Alexandrino was, he said, in hiding, and terrified that Magarinos Torres and his henchmen would exact revenge from his wife and seven children, who still lived in the favela.20

  • 21 See, especially, the testimony of northeastern migrant and “comerciante” Francisco Fernandes Filgue (...)
  • 22 Testimony of Maria José Cordeiro Rodrigues, April 9, 1962.
  • 23 “Dictator” reference from northeastern migrant and self-employed “worker” Antonio Leonídio dos Sant (...)

22Alone, Alexandrino’s story might have elicited considerable skepticism: how could Magarinos, a champion of favelado rights, and an heir of a prominent legal family, stoop to actions that could have been lifted from a breathless account of backward Northeastern banditry? But more than two-dozen witnesses corroborated his story, with a series of consistent and convincing details. Many converged on the routine practices through which new residents were accepted into the community. Any new supplicant would speak first to a local association representative (first Alexandrino, later with a migrant from Minas Gerais named Jandira Santos da Costa), who would explain to them the initial occupation fee, and – upon its initial oral acceptance – collect a deposit and send the supplicant to Magarinos Torres house in Tijuca. At Magarinos Torres’ house, on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings, supplicants waited for an audience with the man who, they were told, had the unique ability to grant them access to Mare’s “public” land. These interviews, when successful, ended with the new resident signing a registration document (the contents of which some could not read), paying an ever-escalating entry price, and promising to pay a monthly fee of 1000 Cruzeiros. According to many witnesses, Magarinos was heartless with those who were not registered voters, or who lacked the entry fee, or who worked for the police or the federal government.21 One single mother recounted an especially harrowing – and perhaps far-fetched -- audience in which she, child in arms, begged Magarinos Torres to excuse her from the fees, as the money she earned as a seamstress was barely enough to live on; in response, she claimed that Magarinos Torres said that she “had a crippled child and couldn’t confront the police, I need strong men, to confront the police with revolvers and machine guns!”22 Magarinos Torres’ reaction to those who refused to pay, or could not do so, was more brutal still: witnesses recalled him as a “dictator,” always surrounded by armed men, who would expel residents, burn shacks to the ground, and spew death threats against any who crossed his ever-escalating demands for money and fees.23 Under the rule of Magarinos Torres and his gang, witnesses claimed, residents lived under a reign of terror, forced to hand over 35% of any profit from local economic activities, compelled to attend periodic political rallies, and never seeing any of the fantastic local improvements that Magarinos Torres had promised.

  • 24 Boaventura de Souza Santos, “The Law of the Oppressed,” op. cit.
  • 25 For examples, see cases of Emiliano Turano and Jorge Chediac, discussed in Fischer, Poverty, ch. 7.
  • 26 The first such public accusations seem to have surfaced in legal cases in Recife in the late 1920s, (...)

23The authenticity – or evil genius – of these dozens of tales was relatively simple. Although narratives of spontaneous settlement and organic self-regulation were already common in mid-20th century Rio, and while some favelas certainly enjoyed some version of authentic local self-governance, most favelas in Rio functioned precisely in the way that Magarinos’ enemies described. Powerful, prominent men (and occasionally women) frequently lay claim to public land in Rio, and sold or rented it to favela residents as their own. They often had local allies – many as poor as the neighbors they exploited -- who manned their financial operations and help to authenticate false land claims. These people did create local associations, they did administer local services denied residents by Brazil’s “democratic” government, and they were often critical in the intricate political negotiation and theater that kept favelas from being swept from the face of Rio’s cityscape. They often entered politics, and projected both high-minded rhetoric that pitted deserving workers against corrupt officials or other land-grabbers, and promised eventual rights, to both land and city. They very often grounded their practices in a kind of parallel legalism, insisting that lands be demarcated, documents signed, authorizations properly given.24 And these so-called “grileiros” exercised frequent violence – just like their rural counterparts -- burning shacks, beating up dissidents or competitors, even murdering when necessary.25 The local associations that such strongmen created often used democratic language and mechanisms, and even mimicked formal legal practice: but they were anything but the organic, pluralistic, democratic associations idealized by the UTF. In one of the case’s greatest ironies, the hypocrisy and exploitation that Magarinos Torres was accused of would have been familiar to outsiders precisely because communist activists – first through the party, and later most prominently through the UTF itself -- had blazed a trail toward a politics in which denunciations of such strongmen were a lynchpin of any campaign for favela justice.26 If the denunciations of Magarinos Torres were true, he was just the latest in a long line of hypocritical “heroes” who exploited local communities in the name of their salvation and made a mockery of grassroots organization. If false, they had been concocted with an eye to plot worthy of a cunning political thriller.

Through the Looking-Glass

  • 27 “Maré: Favelados acusam o advogado de comunista,” A Noite, 14 March, 1962.
  • 28 My summary of Magarinos Torres version of events is largely drawn from three sources: the first is (...)

24It took some time for another, equally fantastic and compelling tale to come to public light. In the weeks after the murder, Magarinos Torres lay relatively low, making only sporadic public statements and acting as legal counsel for the Vasconcelos and other suspects in the murder case. In mid-March, he headed delegation of Maré residents that set out to tell his side of the story to an unsympathetic press; the expedition, which included women and children, just as most UTF delegations had in the 1950s, resulted in a disastrously negative article, in which one delegation member allegedly told the reporter he’d been forced to come along and Magarinos was portrayed as a megalomaniacal, hot-tempered autocrat.27 In late April, however, in the wake of a spate of additional police complaints, Magarinos and his local allies finally mounted a public fight, first launching a counter-complaint in the 19th police district against massive police, church, and governmental corruption, and then testifying to the same effect in the land-grabbing case in which he stood accused. Finally, in July, after being indicted in the murder case, Magarinos Torres launched a calumnia suit against newspapers that had depicted him unfavorably, thus gaining by law the right to air his version of the story in the pages of those same newspapers.28

25For anyone eager to believe in the heroic struggles pioneered by the UTF, Magarinos Torres’ recounting is balm to the soul, the righting of the police case’s sinister funhouse distortion of grassroots organizing. According to Magarinos Torres, the whole case really began in the early 1950s, when then-president Getúlio Vargas a group of residents permission to settle in the area. After living in Maré for longer than the ten years necessary to establish possessory rights, in April of 1961 residents suddenly found themselves threatened by a corrupt and sinister eviction scheme. No less a figure than Clemente Mariani – son-in-law of Governor Carlos Lacerda – had decided that he wanted to turn Maré’s lands into a for-profit factory for “the industrialization of the city’s garbage,” presumably an early version of industrial recycling. Lacerda, famously wily, had begun to move to grant his son and law the lands, first sending police from the State Highway department to serve residents with eviction notices, and then involving SERFHA in the corrupt scheme. It was at this point that residents appealed to Magarinos Torres, who quickly verified that the State had no claim to the lands – they were, he said, “terras da marinha,” and thus under federal jurisdiction – and entered a possessory injunction in the 8th Vara da Fazenda Pública. The conflict escalated from there: police shock troops appeared in November, knocking down eight homes, including that of a widow with four children; and “marginals” began to appear in the favela with the aim of intimidating locals and convincing them to desist from the legal struggle. Residents complained to the 19th police delegacy, but were told by the delegate that Rio’s police chief had told him not to act on any of their complaints and to refer everything to the political police: orders regarding the matter were coming straight from the Governor’s office.

26In the face of such corruption of public institutions, Magarinos Torres did what he had advocated in countless other favelas: he urged residents to form a local association, so as better to defend themselves. The association took responsibility for making a voluntary collection to defray court fees and improve local conditions, installing a school – named after another judge who had been sympathetic to favela land claims in the UTF’s heyday – as well as a medical post, water piping, landfill for streets, and all of the infrastructure for household electricity (though the latter was blocked for political reasons by the state electric service). Magarinos Torres was emphatic in stating that he never asked anyone to pay beyond his or her means. The association also took it upon itself to vet potential new residents, both to ensure their moral character and – importantly -- to ensure that they were orderly workers, not “marginals” introduced by Lacerda, and that they would recognize the land claims of the area’s original occupants.

27The fruit of these efforts, Magarinos claimed, was a self-sustaining proletarian neighborhood that – as such -- was profoundly threatening to the governmental and church apparatus charged with favela policy in Rio. Terrified that this self-help would put them to shame – and wanting to “continue to live from the industry of protecting favela residents” -- the very prominent leaders of abundantly funded agencies like SERFHA, the Cruzada São Sebastião, and the Fundação Leão XIII (the oldest church-state favela agency) had joined forces with Lacerda and a series of grileiros whom Magarinos Torres had crossed in the 1950s. Together, they sought to discredit the UTF, defame Magarinos Torres and evict or intimidate his followers. They attempted to convince innocent residents that it would be better to leave the neighborhood and accept alternate housing, threatened to remove the settlement altogether, invaded homes, and launched a torrent of false land-grabbing accusations against Magarinos and his followers. When that failed, they employed outright violence, sending police to invade homes, arrest neighborhood leaders, and beat Magarinos Torres’ allies. They also bribed Alexandrino, who had in any case already been expelled from the association for stealing money, and induced him to fill the neighborhood with thugs who threatened physical harm to residents unwilling to denounce the UTF. It was in that context – at a point when the police had attempted to take over a UTF building and Magarinos Torres had come to lead a mass protest against the occupation-- that a struggle had broken out between José Vasconcelos and Eufrásio Severino da Silva: Eufrásio, insulting and baiting José, had threatened him with a knife, and José had killed in self defense. All of the false accusations that had followed were simply the culmination of this sinister and long-standing campaign to defeat Magarinos, the UTF, and the grassroots, self-help form of urbanization and governance that they had pioneered.

  • 29 For Lacerda’s comments on Magarinos Torres, given in the early stages of the Maré controversy in re (...)

28Could this spectacular series of accusations have been true? Despite obvious police partiality, a smattering of witnesses supported various aspects of it, particularly those having to do with the purpose of local funds collection and Magarinos Torres’ willingness to forego the fees for the poorest favelados. Even hostile newspapers conceded that local Maré residents seemed to be split in their opinion of Magarinos Torres and the UTF. Police logbooks recorded a flurry of Magarinos Torres’ complaints, several of which are contained in police archives, but none ever resulted in an actual inquiry, as they technically should have. Police violence would hardly have been unusual in the favelas, where cooperation between land-grabbers, their political allies, and police was legendary. However fantastical accusations against SERFHA and the Cruzada São Sebastião might have seemed, these were agencies with anti-communist origins, and institutional interests in controlling favela policy. Their leaders, Jose Arthur Rios and Hélder Câmara, were widely respected, and even revered, but they were also deeply committed to a form of Catholic humanism that was scarcely compatible with Magarinos Torres’ strident communism, and both envisioned a comprehensive favela policy that left scant room for wildcat urbanization. And, finally, Carlos Lacerda – a virulent anti-communist who made no bones about his opinion that Magarinos Torres was part of the red menace – had already become famous for his cunning and theatrical use of intrigue, violence and sensation, as well as for his willingness to marry private profit and public power.29 Magarinos Torres’ narrative – just like that mounted against him – was entirely compatible with widespread suspicions about the workings of public power and the ways in which democratic or legalistic forms could be easily inhabited by corrupt and vicious private powerbrokers.

Truth, Lies and Democratic Currents

  • 30 See Aperj, Pol Pol, Geral 89, police report originated by Aristofanes Monteiro de Souza; also Manoe (...)
  • 31 Amoroso and Gonçalves, op. cit..

29We can’t know which of these stories contains more truth, or if either contains much. The judicial process sheds no light on the matter, or at least none that hasn’t been snuffed out by time and lost paper. Magarinos Torres’ accusations against Lacerda and others were eventually thrown out, on the argument that they were absurd; the accusations against him never resulted in a conviction, though the reasons are lost along with the court cases that held them. The UTF limped along in a weakened form for a few more years, especially in Borel, where Magarinos Torres has been memorialized as a hero for several generations.30 But in the early 1960s, the UTF was eclipsed by the SERFHA-sponsored associations and by a newer, more collaborationist favela federation called the FAFEG; these, in their turn, were driven virtually underground after 1968, only to return with renewed vitality during the distensão. The Bairro Operário Desembargador Magarinos Torres didn’t lose its lands, but it did change its name; now the Parque União, it is both the most populous and the most infrastructurally sound of all of the favelas in the so-called complexo do Maré. Residents still remember that the initial land demarcation was carried out by “a lawyer,” but when Magarinos Torres is remembered buy name it is frequently as a violent grileiro.31 Magarinos Torres became increasingly radicalized in the years after the Maré accusations, traveling to Bolívia during the early years of Brazil’s dictatorship and dying suddenly a few years later.

30Even with such scant resolution, however, these stories reveal a great deal about the courses of democratic currents, both local and institutional, in mid-century Rio de Janeiro. The bleakest upshot is that neither grassroots neighborhood organizations nor the mechanisms of legally bound, democratic government were entirely credible interlocutors in the favelas’ complex and contentious political struggles. Both versions of this story –fantastical as they might have seemed in many other contexts – could have been true, because they reflected a lived experience in which “grassroots” power structures were rarely democratic – or only democratic – and formal democratic and legal institutions were widely believed to be corrupt, repressive, and infiltrated by private power networks. In this sense, this would seem to be a story that goes against the grain of any belief in Latin America’s democratic roots, pointing toward the weakness of Brazil’s democratic tradition rather than its strength.

31There is, however, another reading. One of the great curiosities of this case is the degree to which it was propelled by democratic and pluralistic ideologies and practices, even when these didn’t prevail. The case’s rhetoric, on either side, uniformly favored the well-being of the favelados and recognized their generic “right” to safety, security, and a bit of ground upon which to build a house: all of those assumptions had been constructed thanks to the postwar democratic opening, and the space it gave favelados to jockey for recognition in the public arena. That same democratic opening had produced the intense institutional competition for favelado representation that drove alliances throughout the case. Elements on both sides, moreover, believed that law and democratic institutions could intervene on the side of justice. Magarinos Torres’ entire strategy, in the UTF and in the particular case of the Maré, was centered on the notion that it was possible to achieve something through democratic and institutional means; he may not have believed that the police would rule in his favor, but he did have faith in judges, and certainly trusted in the power of calling public institutions to account in the public sphere. And figures like Hélder Câmara and José Arthur Rios probably honestly believed that their institutions were a more legitimate and democratic response to the favela problem than the kind of spontaneous local organizations that Magarinos Torres advocated: such organizations, from their perspective, had no protections against thuggery and profiteering, and circumvented institutions intended to examine such issues from the perspective of the public good.

32Perhaps more importantly, while one might logically conclude that either side’s use of democratic language and practice was simply base cynicism, carried out in the service of anti-democratic ends, one could just as easily conceive of that relationship in reverse. Quite probably, at least some of the actors on both sides justified their use of anti-democratic means – police violence, gang thuggery, the burning of shacks, the violent expulsion of single residents or whole communities, alliance with corrupt police or politicians – by the belief that they were working for the eventual triumph of social justice and democratic self determination. If Magarinos insisted on being surrounded by armed gangs and expelling policemen from Maré, it may have been because he had been persecuted by police and could not trust them to protect his physical integrity or the community’s rights. If he employed his own capangas to exclude his enemies, it may have been for the well-being of the legitimate community; if he favored the land rights of older residents and denied the same to newer arrivals, perhaps it was because he believed that those older residents had earned their rights and the newcomers sought to undermine them. Similarly, if José Arthur Rios and Hélder Câmara allied themselves with corrupt politicians and policemen to defeat Magarinos Torres, it might have been because those were the powerful people available to rid the city of a figure they saw as a corrupt land-grabber or radical communist, a mortal threat to the self-determination of the very groups he claimed to represent.

33It is quite possible, in short, that some of the actors in these tales were simultaneously sincere believers in ideals of democracy and parties to the worst kind of anti-democratic practices. They lived in a historical context where the language, ideals, and tools of democracy were omnipresent, but where democracy’s institutional assurances were very weak. Neither daily survival nor political progress were conceivable without recourse to other sorts of power, regulation, and authority, either at the grassroots or at the seat of institutional power. If the dueling tales of the Maré murder suggest anything, it is that we will be hard-pressed to understand the workings of Brazilian democracy – then or now – without careful consideration of the interplay between democratic ideas and practices and the fragmented hegemony of law and democratic institutions.

Haut de page


1 For orientation in the extensive literature on the emancipatory possibilities of grassroots lawmaking and legal pluralism see, especially, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, “The Law of the Oppressed,” Law and Society Review 12:1 (1977), p. 5-126. and “Sociologia na primeira pessoa: fazendo pesquisa nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro,” Revista da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, 49, p. 39-79 ; Antonio Carlos Wolkmer, Pluralismo jurídico: fundamentos de uma nova cultura do direito, São Paulo: Alfa-Ômega, 2001 and Pluralismo jurídico: os novos caminhos da contemporaneidade, São Paulo: Saraiva, 2011; Marcos Augusto Maliska, Pluralismo jurídico e direito moderno: notas para pensar a racionalidade jurídica na modernidade, Curitiba: Juruá, 2001; James Holston, Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. A partly convergent and highly influential neoliberal formulation is Hernando de Soto’s The Other Path, New York: Basic Books, 2002.

2 Sociologists of “plural law” in the context of drug trafficking (notably Desmond Arias and Alba Zaluar) have faced these questions, but these events are too recent to have attracted historians’ attention).

3 For an idealized insider’s view of the UTF, see Manoel Gomes, As lutas do povo do Borel, Rio de Janeiro: Edições Muro, 1980. For an insightful academic account, see Nísia Trinidade Verônica Lima, “O movimento de favelados do Rio de Janeiro: políticas do Estado e lutas sociais.” MA diss, IUPERJ, 1989. For an insightful recent study on the memory and representation of the UTF, see Mauro Amoroso, “Caminhos do lembrar: a construção e os usos políticos da memória no morro do Borel”. For discussion of the UTF in the context of other favela struggles, see Brodwyn Fischer, A Poverty of Rights, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008, ch. 8.

4 On the history of Rio’s favelas, see Fischer, Poverty; Rafael Soares Gonçalves, Les favelas de Rio de Janeiro: histoire et droit, XIXe et XX siècles, Paris: l’Harmattan, 2010; Maria Lais Pereira da Silva, Favelas cariocas, 1930-1960, Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto, 2005; Maurício de Almeida Abreu, "Reconstruindo uma história esquecida: origem e expansão inicial das favelas do Rio de Janeiro," Espaço e debates 37 (1994).

5 On the remoções see Lícia do Prado Valladares, Passa-se uma casa: análase do programa de remoção de favelas do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 1978; Janice Perlman, The Myth of Marginality, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

6 Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, New York: Verso, 2006.

7 For a more detailed explication of these developments, see Fischer, especially chapters two and eight.

8 For an idealistic view see, especially, Boaventura de Souza Santos, op cit, and James Holston, op. cit.

9 Nísia Trinidade Lima, “O Movimento,” p. 106.

10 “Para combater a miséria e a grilagem,” Imprensa Popular, April 22, 1954.

11 By the end of 1956, Rio’s political police had already identified the UTF as a communist front, although they admitted that it also involved people of “boa fé.” See APERJ, Pol Pol, Administração 1y, note from MJNI, Departamento Federal de Segurança Pública to the Divisão de Polícia Política e Social, December 27, 1956.

12 Lei 2875/56

13 “Cêrco ao Distrito: Prisão do Advogado Provoca Sucessivos Tumultos na Tijuca,” Última Hora, 2 May, 1958;”Aliaram-se o grileiro e a prefeitura contra o advogado e a favelada,” Imprensa Popular, 3 May, 1958. See also the semi-complete record of the police investigation: APERJ, Pol Pol, Inquéritos 17, Delegacia de Segurança Social Inquerito 189/58.

14 “Queixa-Crime contra o Prefeito Negrão de Lima, Ordem dos Advogados na Defesa do Líder dos Operários Favelados,” Última Hora, 12 May, 1958.

15 APERJ, Pol Pol, Administração 1Y, Dossiê do DFSP, Divisão da Polícia Política e Social, Serviço de Informações, “União dos trabalhadores Favelados,” letter to Chefe do Serviço de Informações da DPS, in ref. to protocolo 7700/1958.

16 SAGMACS, 1960, p. 4.

17 Mauro Amoroso and Rafael Soares Gonçalves, “Memória hagiográfica e movimentos sociais urbanos: a militância política de Antoine de Magarinos Torres nas favelas cariocas,” in Anais do XI Encontro Regional Sudeste de História Oral, São Paulo: ABHO, 2011.

18 “Gang operava no conto do barraco,” A Noite, March 13, 1962. See also “Magarinos cria regime de terror nas favelas,” Tribuna da Imprensa, 24-25 March, 1962.

19 See “Advogado Autor Intelectual do Assassinato do Favelado,” A Noite, July 27, 1962.

20 APERJ, Pol Pol, InquéritosTestimony of João Alexandrino da Silva, March 3, 1962.

21 See, especially, the testimony of northeastern migrant and “comerciante” Francisco Fernandes Filgueiras, from March 20, 1962;

22 Testimony of Maria José Cordeiro Rodrigues, April 9, 1962.

23 “Dictator” reference from northeastern migrant and self-employed “worker” Antonio Leonídio dos Santos, March 19, 1962.

24 Boaventura de Souza Santos, “The Law of the Oppressed,” op. cit.

25 For examples, see cases of Emiliano Turano and Jorge Chediac, discussed in Fischer, Poverty, ch. 7.

26 The first such public accusations seem to have surfaced in legal cases in Recife in the late 1920s, and were publicized in Recife’s municipal elections of 1935. They became central to Recife’s pioneering anti-mocambo campaigns in the late 1930s. They surfaced in novelistic form in both Rio and Recife in the mid-30s, and became dominant tropes in the press and politics of both cities during the epic favela and mocambo struggles of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Novels include A.C. Chagas Ribeiro, Mocambos, Recife: Mozart, 1935; Lucio Cardoso, Salgueiro, Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1935. On Recife, see Zélia de Oliveira Gominho, Veneza americana x mucambópolis: o Estado Novo na cidade do Recife (décadas de 30 e 40). Recife: Cepe, 1998; Fischer “The Politics of Race and Social Inequality in Recife,” ms. Currently under review at CSSH.

27 “Maré: Favelados acusam o advogado de comunista,” A Noite, 14 March, 1962.

28 My summary of Magarinos Torres version of events is largely drawn from three sources: the first is the police investigation into land grabbing brought against Magarinos Torres and others, located in the APERJ, Pol Pol, Inqueritos 17, Delegacia de Segurança Social Inquerito no. 8162. The second is Magarinos Torres’ complaint against corruption, APERJ, Pol Pol, Geral 87, Dossie 12. The last is the press release published under the headline “Advogado Autor Intelectual do Assassinato do Favelado,” Última Hora, July 24, 1962.

29 For Lacerda’s comments on Magarinos Torres, given in the early stages of the Maré controversy in relation to another matter, see Lacerda’s memorandum to José Artur Rios, 17 Julho, 1961, in Lacerda’s archives at the Universidade de Brasília, PO.03, Dossiê Gabinete Correspondências, 1960, Cx. 155.

30 See Aperj, Pol Pol, Geral 89, police report originated by Aristofanes Monteiro de Souza; also Manoel Gomes, As Lutas do Povo do Borel.

31 Amoroso and Gonçalves, op. cit..

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Brodwyn Fischer, « Democracy, Thuggery and the Grassroots: Antoine Magarinos Torres and the União dos Trabalhadores Favelados in the Age of Carioca Populism »Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne], Colloques, mis en ligne le 10 février 2013, consulté le 20 avril 2024. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Brodwyn Fischer

Northwestern University

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur


Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search