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Who is the real Marighella? A terrorist honored by Wagner Moura in his new movie

Who is the real Marighella? A terrorist honored by Wagner Moura in his new movie
João Guilherme
João Guilherme
Estudante e interessado em política, história e religião.

The Brazilian terrorist, Carlos Marighella, is honored by brazilian actor and director Wagner Moura in his new movie.


Wagner Moura, a Brazilian actor and movie director, mostly know for his role as Captain Nascimento in Elite Squad 1 and 2 (2007 and 2010), honors Carlos Marighella, the murderer who founded the terrorist group called Ação Libertadora Nacional (ALN) to fight against the military regime in Brazil and to promote communism.

Even though the terrorist’s name is widely know, very few people know his past, with a history of assaulting passenger trains and planning ambushes to kill the ones the group considered enemies. To push the story foward, during the Berlin Movie Festival, Moura is trying to paint Marighella as a black revolutionary, something like a communist Luther King Jr., while, in reality, he was a white terrorist.

Using a moderate speech to defend the far-left radicals, Moura gets close to being one of them and defending what Marighella said in his Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilha, a pamphlet published to teach ALN aligned people how to fight against “repression”. The movie’s director goes even further and puts Marighella and Marielle Franco, a city councilor killed last year, in the same spot.

By doing that, Moura does something just as absurd as saying that Luther King Jr. and Malcom X fought for the same things. Luther King and Marielle have nothing in common, except that they were huge idealists and had nothing to do with extremist movements. On the other side, Marighella and Malcom X were both extreme violent terrorists, promoting the death of those considered enemies.

Just so you know how absurd, violent and ridiculous is Moura’s comparison of Marighella and Marielle, read this part of Marighella’s minimanual

The urban guerrilla is an implacable enemy of the regime, and systematically inflicts damage on the authorities and on the people who dominate the country and exercise power. The primary task of the urban guerrilla is to distract, to wear down, to demoralize the military regime and its repressive forces, and also to attack and destroy the wealth and property of the foreign managers and the Brazilian upper class.
The urban guerrilla is not afraid to dismantle and destroy the present Brazilian economic, political and social system, for his aim is to aid the rural guerrillas and to help in the creation of a totally new and revolutionary social and political structure, with the armed population in power. (Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, A definition of the Urban Guerrilla).

The Brazilian website Brasil Escola, in a brief overview of Marighella’s history, mentions one of the expropriations Marighella talked about. In August 10th, 196, the terrorist and his group performed an assault on train to get resources to his group. The assault is know as “O Assalto ao Trem Pagador“.

Among other things, Marighella is also responsible for the use of explosives and executions, both mentioned in his minimanual.


Execution is the killing of a foreign spy, of an agent of the dictatorship, of a police torturer, of a dictatorial personality in the government involved in crimes and persecutions against patriots, of a stool pigeon, informer, police agent or police provocateur. Those who go to the police of their own free will to make denunciations and accusations, who supply information and who finger people, must be executed when they are caught by the urban guerrillas.
Execution is a secret action, in which the least possible number of urban guerrillas are involved. In many cases, the execution can be carried out by a single sniper, patient, alone and unknown, and operating in absolute secrecy and in cold blood. (Mimimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, Executions).


By defending Marighella and comparing him to Marielle Franco, Moura equals a murdered woman to a self-declared terrorist – exactly! Marighella isn’t considered a terrorist for being far-left criminal, but because that’s what he called himself, as you can see in another chapter of his minimanual.


Terrorism is an action, usually involving the placement of an explosive or firebomb of great destructive power, which is capable of effecting irreparable loss against the enemy. Terrorism requires that the urban guerrilla should have adequate theoretical and practical knowledge of how to make explosives.
The terrorist act, apart from the apparent ease with which it can be carried out, is no different from other guerrilla acts and actions whose success depends on planning and determination. It is an action which the urban guerrilla must execute with the greatest calmness and determination.

Although terrorism generally involves an explosion, there are cases in which it may be carried out through executions or the systematic burning of installations, properties, plantations, etc. It is essential to point out the importance of fires and the construction of incendiary devices such as gasoline bombs in the technique of guerrilla terrorism. Another thing is the importance of the material the urban guerrilla can persuade the people to expropriate in the moments of hunger and scarcity brought about by the greed of the big commercial interests. Terrorism is a weapon the revolutionary can never relinquish. (Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, Terrorism).

We are not sure about what Wagner Moura thinks about Marighella’s acts, but he definitely doesn’t take them as seriously as they should be taken. The terrorist once planted a bomb that resulted in the amputation of a man’s leg. Think that’s bad enough? A Brazilian commission created to investigate alleged crimes committed by the military doing their regime said that he only deserved a R$ 500 (~US$ 150) pension for having his leg amputated. Marighella was honored by that same commission.

Is Wagner Moura a far-left militant who thinks that terrorism, explosions and executions are OK, as long as they’re committed to promote communism, or a complete idiot, who doesn’t know a single thing about Marighella’s past? No matter what the answer is, people should feel bad for Marielle. She definitely doesn’t deserve to be compared to a terrorist.

Texto escrito pelo colaborador João Guilherme, que também produziu a versão em português desta matéria. Confira clicando AQUI:

Os pontos de vista expressos neste artigo são as opiniões do autor e não refletem necessariamente a posição da RENOVA Mídia.

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