Letters to the director’s opinion

The irony of the story

Much has been said these days about the Marcelino da Mata case, which some consider a hero of the country and others a criminal (Vasco Lourenço). Another Cabral, who was the first president of Guinea-Bissau, made it worse: he murdered all the former black fighters in Guinea who fought alongside the Portuguese. If those who disagree, it is not known that Vasco Lourenço protested.

We know that the war in Guinea-Bissau was perhaps the cruelest on either side. It seemed that the Guineans were fighting for a good cause. After so many years, Guinea’s chiefs have killed each other. Today it is still an ungovernable country. He lives from the charity of others and from drug trafficking. And the question that arises is this: What did the disobedient Cape Verde fighters so fiercely in foreign countries that they received their independence hand in hand and claimed independence from Guinea-Bissau? The revolutions devour their mentors, using the example of the guerrilla Amílcar Cabral. The story tells of many others who were just as lucky.

Artur Gonçalves, Sintra

Marcelino da Mata

I was in the military in Guinea [Bissau], between September 1972 and August 1974, incorporated into the 1st company of BART 6521, called “Nómadas, Pioneiros de Jemberém” after knowing some activities that Marcelino da Mata (MM) and his group then developed.

But to remind those who don’t know, I never did and or intend to shed light on the reality that was lived in this old Portuguese colony, I remember two texts published in PÚBLICO Magazine, the first in Number 213, issued March 27, 1994, written by Victor Carvalho, p. 18 which he mentions and I quote: “[…] The legendary Grupo do Marcelino passed like a shooting star, with black characters worthy of a Portuguese procession, laden with war materials and African folklore, eating the flesh of dead enemies in a ritual that went beyond the tradition of cannibalism of the ancestors, which were no longer used, but retained the mythical aura […]”. The second text that I bring to the collection appeared in No. 295, 5711/95, by Francisco de Vasconcelos. 31 one can read the report by Joaquim Carneiro, a Portuguese soldier who says, and I also quote: “[…] After African commandos attacked the PAIGC base […] I remember Marcelino da Mata and Jamanca in Guidage selling weapons they had caught […]”. Just two examples of “one of the best-decorated military men of all time for the commitment and commitment in the service of the Portuguese army and Portugal”, according to a message from the current Defense Minister on MM’s death

José P. Costa, Lisbon

Marcelino da Mata after Manuel Loff

According to Eça, “apart from observing the facts and experiencing phenomena, the mind cannot obtain the sum of the truth”. It is for this reason that I am amazed that this historian bases a mere opinion on the testimony of Vasco Lourenço, who said he knew him well and made sure that he (Marcelino da Mata) “committed war crimes” as if he were Overseas War It was an exchange of pennants, manners and bouquets of roses. It is true that the vision of events depends on the perspective of those who observe them.

For example, April 25 coincided with the fact that officers who left the military academy were overlooked by militiamen in their respective promotions.

I limited myself to telling a few facts that I experienced and witnessed thousands of people: the deaths of Mozambican civilians who were brutally murdered after April 25, given the passivity of our army, which was in superior command Intervene defense of defenseless citizens. That is, every coin has two sides, my face does not have the responsibility of those who are qualified to write history, but only of those who report facts referred to with personal testimonies.

Rui Baptista, Coimbra