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Marighella, Carlos (c. 1904–1969)

Marighella, Carlos (c. 1904–1969)

Carlos Marighella (b. ca. 1904; d. 4 November 1969), Brazilian architect of Latin American urban guerrilla warfare. Marighella was born in Salvador, the son of an Italian immigrant and, on his mother's side, the descendant of African slaves. He studied engineering at the Salvador Polytechnic but dropped out. He joined the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) in 1927 and was imprisoned after the party's attempted armed revolt of 1935. Released in 1937, Marighella moved to São Paulo.

Disenchanted with the party's conservatism, he urged violent revolution and a guerrilla struggle. He was elected a deputy from the state of São Paulo to the new Congress in 1946, but was forced underground following the ban on the PCB in 1947. His 1960 acceptance of an invitation to Havana extended to the PCB leadership, which they refused, initiated a break with the party that was complete by 1964. Having rejected the revolutionary theory made popular by Ernesto (Che) Guevera as too spontaneous, and therefore doomed to failure, Marighella founded the Action for National Liberation (ALN) in 1968. His "Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerrilla," written in 1969 as a training manual for the ALN and other guerrilla groups, is a mechanistic theory of urban guerrilla warfare and the most famous document to emerge from the urban struggle in Brazil. Marighella was killed in a police ambush in São Paulo.

See alsoBrazil, Political Parties: Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) .


Robert Moss, "Marighella: Letter from South America," in Encounter 39, no. 1 (1972): 40-43.

Additional Bibliography

José, Emiliano. Carlos Marighella: O inimigo número um da ditadura militar. São Paulo: Sol Chuva, 1997.

Nova, Cristiane, and Jorge Nóvoa, eds. Carlos Marighella: O homem por trás do mito. São Paulo, Editora UNESP, 1999.

Rollemberg, Denise. O apoio de Cuba à luta armada no Brasil: O treinamento guerrilheiro. Rio de Janeiro: Mauad, 2001.

Rollemberg, Denise. "A ALN e Cuba: Apoio e conflito." Cadernos Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth. Campinas: Unicamp, vol. 8, n̕s 14/15, 1̕ e 2̕ semestres de 2001. Dossiê "Tempo de ditadura," edited by Marcelo Ridenti.

Rollemberg, Denise. "Clemente." In Perfis cruzados: Trajetórias e militância política no Brasil, edited by Beatriz Kushnir. São Paulo, Imago, 2002.

Rollemberg, Denise. "Esquerdas revolucionárias e luta armada." In O Brasil Republicano: O tempo da ditadura; Regime militar e movimentos sociais em fins do século XX, edited by Jorge Ferreira and Lucília de Almeida Neves Delgado. Vol. 4. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2003.

Rollemberg, Denise. "Carlos Marighella e Carlos Lamarca: Memórias de dois revolucionários." In Esquerdas no Brasil República, edited by Daniel Aarão, Reis Filho and Jorge Ferreira. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2007.

Sacchetta, Vladimir, Márcia Camargos, and Gilberto Maringoni, eds. A imagem e o gesto: Fotobiografia de Carlos Marighella. São Paulo: Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1999.

                                      Michael L. James

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