On April 2, 45 years passed from the date the bombing killed Catholic priest Maximino Barbosa de Sousa and student Maria de Lurdes Correia. After class, the car they followed exploded in Cumeeira back to Vila Real at Casa do Povo in the parish, where adults were given free evening classes.
The Court of Justice recognized and ruled in 1999 that it was an attack by the MDLP (Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Portugal), a right-wing terrorist organization founded by António de Spínola and Alpoim Calvão. This organization was responsible for a wave of violence in the country around April 25 in 1975 and 1976. Hundreds of terrorist attacks set fire to the headquarters of left-wing parties and trade unions and blew up petards near the houses of anti-fascists, destroyed vehicles, took away several people, including nationals and foreigners. This violence collapsed during the April conquests, enshrined in the constitution of the republic and endorsed on the same day that Max and Lourdes were brought to life by barbarism. Murdered by mercenaries who counted among many complications with protecting Francoist Spain.
It is a fact that the moral and material perpetrators of the attack who have been brought to justice have not been convicted. The destruction of evidence and the sabotage of investigations due to the infiltration of right-wing extremist bombers in investigative bodies, as has been sufficiently proven in several legal proceedings, as well as a process at the time of the proceedings explain the difficulty of the sentence.
Father Max was a candidate on Vila Real’s UDP lists in the elections to the Assembly of the Republic that took place the following April 25th. A candidate for the then new constitution. That seems to have been the sin of punishing the bombers. That it was “sin” was confirmed by the entire hierarchy of the Church, with particular emphasis on Canon Melo from Braga. I am highlighting the pain of some of Max’s young priest friends who have joined the democratic wave in the area where the extreme right mistakenly thought it might be his fiefdom. When agricultural unions were formed in the Douro, many workers came from the parishes of these priests, where they promoted a response to the semi-slavery in which the wage earners lived.
Forty-five years later, many democratic causes have been overcome, but poverty has not. The subordination of the interior was not overcome either. And these are the causes of the exodus of people from within. Father Max and Maria de Lurdes came from families of emigrants in France. Of course Max was a brother of the emigration. He was in France, he was familiar with the uprising of May 68, and the whole democratic utopia came with him, a migrant of ideas, to the failures of Marão. Max’s causes are still relevant when we have a shortened democracy and forced emigration in our daily life. Max’s contemporaries rose to save young people’s horizons. Plural society, participation and local employment as the future, this is the most powerful Post-Max Manifesto we can have!
Max’s memory is all about that Republican initiative. If the republic has an obligation to enter into, it is for its constitutional self-defense. The urgency now is before the MDLP’s heirs in parliament condition a government
Forty-five years later, the resurgence of reactionary propaganda in Portugal now requires several considerations. One thing on my mind is not to agree to the fascist, racist and sexist intolerance. Do not agree with the praise of colonialism and the Estado Novo. Don’t accept the vulgar language of xenophobia. The republic cannot condescend to the enemies proclaimed in the constitution, and this requires political separation and institutional reparation.
Max’s memory is all about that Republican initiative. If the republic has an obligation to enter into, it is for its constitutional self-defense. The urgency now is before the MDLP’s heirs in parliament condition a government.
This article is a call. Many citizens will certainly celebrate the 45th anniversary of the constitution on April 2nd. Before and even for that we can remember Max in national honor, the indomitable will to drive democracy even further, the trembling that is missing for the agony of bite-sized politics. The memory is called and called. It’s shrill. Look, that’s what is required of all the colors of democracy.
The author writes according to the new orthographic convention