Venceslau Ferreira Ramos

(Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia, 18-02-1916 – Porto, 22-05-1950)

Venceslau Ferreira Ramos, son of Alfredo Ferreira Cerqueira and Ana Costa Ramos, was born in 1916, in Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia. He was a modeller at the ceramics factory of Carvalhido and resided in Oliveira do Douro.

A member of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), he was arrested on 13 May 1950, in Avintes, for inquiries into crimes against state security.

He died on 22 May 1950 at the headquarters of the International and State Defence Police (PIDE) in Porto. According to the newspaper Avante!, Venceslau Ramos, aged 34, was beaten to death by officers of the PIDE. As it was common in deaths caused by the political police, the police tried to present the death as a suicide by hanging, forbidding the autopsy and preventing any attendances to the funeral. In January 1950, Militão Ribeiro had already died in the Penitentiary of Lisbon, as had José Moreira, whose body had been thrown from a window of the PIDE headquarters in Rua António Maria Cardoso after succumbing to violent torture. In 1950, a particularly deadly year, Carlos Pato was also murdered, after being tortured in the Prison of Caxias, and Alfredo Lima was shot dead by the National Republican Guard (GNR) in Alpiarça.

The workers from the factory where Venceslau Ramos worked, as well as from other factories, left work in honour of Venceslau and to attend his funeral, which became an event of great indignation and protest.

The death of Venceslau Ramos, Militão Ribeiro and José Moreira prompted a campaign of protests by the National Democratic Movement.

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