Henrique Galvão

16 January 2021

#Inthisday, January 16th, 1959, Henrique Galvão, close to 64 years old and sentenced to 19 years in prison, escaped from the Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon.

After the alignment with the “Estado Novo” and the performance of several major public offices, Henrique Galvão would break with the regime and become one of the main faces of the opposition, considered, at some point, as the “enemy no. 1” of the dictatorship..

In his arrest, after participation in the “Intentona da Rua da Asunção” in 1952, he goes through the Caxias jail and Aljube.

In 1955, after several failed escape attempts – from the Trafaria military prison, the Lisbon Penitentiary, Peniche jail and Santa Marta hospital – he was admitted to the Santa Maria Hospital under strong security measures.

Despite the close surveillance of PIDE agents, during the early hours of January 16th, 1959, Henrique Galvão escapes from the Hospital de Santa Maria and, days later, takes refuge in the Argentine Embassy that welcomes him for three months.

In May, with a safe conduct issued by the portuguese governement, embarks towards Buenos Aires. It would then be established in Venezuela where it would participate in the Iberian Revolutionary Liberation Directory (DRIL) and shortly thereafter was one of the actions that would most shake the regime: the assault on Santa Maria in early 1961 and which we will talk about in the coming days.

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