Jagunço, a bodyguard, hired gun, or assassin. Originating in northeastern Brazil in the early nineteenth century, jagunços were an integral part of rural life throughout the country well into the twentieth century. They formed the heavily armed military forces of coronéis (local political bosses) during regional power struggles and were also employed as enforcers of property rights against sharecroppers and squatters. Some jagunços became Cangaceiros (bandits), while many fought alongside Antônio Conselheiro during the millenarian Canudos conflict in Bahia (1896–1897). As Brazil modernized, they declined, but competition for land in the Amazon Basin has led to their resurgence under the name of capanga.
See alsoCoronel, Coronelismo .
Euclides De Cunha, Rebellion in the Backlands (Os Sertões), translated by Samuel Putnam (1944).
Jorge Amado, Jubiabá, translated by Margaret A. Neves (1984).
Afonso Arinos, Os jagunços: Novela, 3d ed. (1985).
Barros, Luitgarde Oliveira Cavalcanti. A derradeira gesta: Lampião e nazarenos guerreando no sertão. Rio de Janeiro: Mauad: FAPERJ, 2000.
Grunspan-Jasmin, Elise. Lampião, senhor do sertão: Vidas e mortes de um cangaceiro. São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, 2006.
Lins, Daniel Soares. Lampião: O homem que amava as mulheres: o imaginário do cangaço. São Paulo: Annablume, 1997.