Raul Alves

(Vialonga, Vila Franca De Xira, 09-03-1914, – Lisbon, 31-7-1958)

Raul Alves, son of José Alves and Mariana da Assunção, was born on 9 March 1914, in Vialonga, Vila Franca De Xira. A militant of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), he was a welder at the Companhia Industrial Portuguesa (Portuguese Industrial Company), located in the same neighbourhood he lived in, in Póvoa de Santa Iria.

Raul Alves was arrested on 16 July 1958 for subversive activities, following the strike and demonstrations by workers of the Companhia Industrial Portuguesa against the electoral fraud of the previous month. He was taken to the Prison of Caxias and, on July 25, he was sent to the Prison of Aljube for the interrogation phase. It is during this period that he was murdered, at the age of 44.

On July 31, after being tortured, Raul Alves was thrown from the third floor of the headquarters of the International and State Defence Police (PIDE), on Rua António Maria Cardoso, by police officers.

Like in other cases, PIDE claimed that he had committed suicide and, according to some of its officers and employees, it was desperation that led Raul Alves to throw himself out of the third-floor window.

However, several people saw a man hanging from one of the windows of the building that, amid heartbreaking screams, eventually fell. One of the witnesses was the wife of the Brazilian ambassador, Álvaro Lins, who reported the murder to the cardinal-patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira. Days later, the Ministry of the Interior told her: “There is no reason to be so shocked. It is only a Communist.”

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