José Moreira

(Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, 1912 – Lisbon, 24-01-1950)

José Moreira, son of Manuel Moreira and Guilhermina de Jesus, was born in 1912 in Vieira de Leiria. At a very young age, he went to Marinha Grande to work as a glassworker, in an environment of strong revolutionary tradition.

A locksmith by profession, in 1945, comrade “Lino” became an official of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and went underground, being responsible for the party’s press apparatus.

During a particularly fierce period of repression of the PCP, on 22 January 1950, José Moreira was arrested – under the false name “José Mendes Oliveira” – along with his partner Filomena Pereira Galo, in Vila do Paço, Torres Novas, in a clandestine house where they lived and where two firearms were seized, as well as clandestine press and propaganda.

José Moreira was, at the time, responsible for the printing houses of the PCP and the distribution of the clandestine press, and his arrest, in the eyes of the International and State Defence Police (PIDE), would allow the identification, tracking and dismantling of the network of clandestine printing houses.

On the same day he was arrested, José Moreira was sent to the Prison of Aljube where he remained in continuous isolation.

On January 23 or 24, he died as a result of the violent torture he suffered during intensive interrogations, where he refused to provide any information. His body was thrown from the third-floor window of the PIDE’s headquarters on Rua António Maria Cardoso. The political police were trying to cover up his homicide by staging a suicide.

José Moreira was 37 years old. Shortly before he was arrested, he wrote that “a clandestine printing house is the heart of the popular struggle. A heartless body cannot live.”

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