Távora, Juárez (1898–1975)

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Távora, Juárez (1898–1975)

Juárez Távora (b. 14 January 1898; d. 18 July 1975), Brazilian military officer, tenente leader, and 1955 presidential candidate.

Fifteenth son of a politically active family in Ceará, Távora attended school in nearby towns and then went to Rio and Pôrto Alegre with his brothers to complete high school. In 1916 he began army officer training. After commissioning, he met other junior officers and cadets with whom he would later revolt.

After participating in the 1922 tenente rebellion, Távora helped capture São Paulo in 1924. Upon abandoning the city, he assumed greater responsibility for leading the rebels and joined forces with Luís Carlos Prestes. He gained a lasting reputation for calm, courageous behavior. Captured in 1925, he was sent to prison and began writing a memoir about the revolt.

Escaping in 1927, Távora fled the country and resumed the conspiracy. Eventually he and most of the others joined the Revolution of 1930, which was organized by Getúlio Vargas's supporters. Távora assumed command of the Northeast and managed to gain control of the entire region within days. Afterward, he was appointed "Viceroy of the North" to oversee security in that region and became active in the Club 3 de Outubro. He formulated vaguely socialist goals for the movement, some of which he pursued in various administrative posts, including minister of agriculture (1932–1934). When his party failed to win a majority in Ceará in 1934, he returned to active duty as a road engineer in the south.

In 1945 Távora joined the National Democratic Union Party to support fellow tenente Eduardo Gomes. Throughout the coming years Távora acted as senior statesman of the officer corps concerned with petroleum, electric power, steel, and national defense. Finally he ran for president in 1955 but came in second to Juscelino Kubitschek. Mostly retired, Távora remained on the political sidelines until becoming congressman from Rio de Janeiro. His last post was minister of transport under Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco (1964–1967).

See alsoBrazil: Since 1889; Brazil, Political Parties: National Democratic Union of Brazil (UDN); Tenentismo.


Neill Macaulay, The Prestes Column (1974).

Israel Beloch and Alzira Alves De Abreu, comps., Dicionário histórico-biográfico brasileiro, 1930–1983 (1984).

Maria Cecília Spina Forjaz, Tenentismo e forças armadas na revolução de 30 (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Meirelles, Domingos. As noites das grandes fogueiras: Uma história da Coluna Prestes. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Record, 1995.

Prestes, Anita Leocádia. Tenentismo pós-30: Continuidade ou ruptura? São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 1999.

                                       Michael L. Conniff