We publish an unofficial translation of a contribution from A Nova Democracia that was sent to us.


On 1st of January 2022, the long-time communist militant and combatant of the guerrilla war in Araguaia, Danilo Carneiro, died at the age of 80. Danilo was fighting cancer in his lumbar region, probably from the torture he suffered when he was arrested in the Araguaia region, where he served in one of the guerrilla detachments.

Danilo began his relationship with communism when he was in high school and living in Rio de Janeiro. His father, a merchant, led a comfortable life and had a good education. His mother's lesson to never allow injustice left a lasting impression on him. After finishing his studies, he moved to Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, where he actively participated in the struggle of the proletariat in the form of strikes and demonstrations; at that time he was part of the student movement.

Although he had been active in the class struggle with the proletarian masses since mid-1956, Danilo joined the Communist Party of Brazil (rebuilt under the acronym PCdoB) only later, at the end of the 1960s.

Although he did not join any of the revolutionary organisations of the time, Danilo was persecuted after the counter-revolutionary military coup of 1964, had to abandon his university studies at the engineering school and went underground.

In the party, given his increasing involvement in revolutionary activity, he put himself at the disposal of the Central Committee to work where it was most useful for the party. The talks began and in early 1970 he moved to the Araguaia region. There the life of the guerrilla began: military training, survival in the jungle and political work with the masses of peasants in the region. Despite the difficulties of adapting to military life and routine, he always demonstrated his revolutionary honesty and integrity, as well as his proletarian discipline. As he himself said in his statement to the "Truth Commission", even if he disagreed with the decisions of the command and the party leadership after voicing them in discussion, he adhered to them without reservation.

When Danilo was arrested in April 1972 (still during the first crackdown and extermination operation by the reactionary army against the guerrillas) at a meeting with a dozen peasants, he was cruelly tortured. In his testimony before the "Truth Commission", he described the level of shame achieved by the gorillas and their torturing dogs; he also told of the strength and vitality he regained when he came into contact with his comrades after each torture, which enabled him to continue resisting and defeating the torturers.

During the evaluation of Araguaia, Danilo supported the red line advocated by comrade Pedro Pomar to correct the mistakes of Araguaia through profound self-criticism. In his assessment, Pedro Pomar defended that the error of Araguaia was a concept that contradicted the theory of people's war and proposed to resume the armed struggle in this way until the relationship was interrupted by the slaughter of Lapa with the joint action of João Amazonas, which manipulated the internal struggle and buried the discussion. Danilo told several times of his pain when he heard about the Lapa massacre and in particular the death of Pedro Pomar. In his words "We knew it was over with the death of Pomar", he referred to the balance and continuity of the party at the red line, in the statement released as an addendum for the film "Araguaia, presente!". Thus he maintained a firm stand until the last day of his life, despite comrade Danilo's mistaken description of the right-wing, dogmatic and sectarian tradition that prevailed in the leadership on how to deal with differences as "Stalinism".

Danilo broke with the PCdoB in the late 1970s, when the party had already been liquidated by the revisionism of João Amazonas. From then on, he fought relentlessly at every opportunity against the leadership of this institution under the acronym PCdoB. In his words, "a party of the bourgeois order, defender of capitalism".

In his statements to the "Truth Commission", comrade Danilo stood out for his willingness to fight. "The commission is a farce. Amnesty was a farce," he said in one of his statements. While the renegades and remorseful ex-guerrillas claim they chose armed struggle to restore (bourgeois) "democracy", Danilo affirms, "The struggle was not to overthrow the military dictatorship. I never fought, and I don't know any communist who fought for that. We fought to oppose national and international monopoly capitalism from the perspective of building a socialist model that is different."

At the event organised by AND to show the film "Araguaia, presente!" by André Queiroz and Arthur Moura in 2018, comrade Danilo took a prominent place and gave an important testimony about the conditions of the guerrilla struggle and the need for a great revolution. On that occasion, he declared, "It is not the political subject - that is the party - that makes the revolution, but the masses - that is the social subject - that makes it. But there is no way that the social subject can make the revolution without the political subject, because it is the party that guarantees the right path."

His combative path, his spirit of dedication, his firmness, his discipline and his humility to teach and learn distinguish him as much as his disobedience to oppression. His glorious life consists of unobtrusive, complete devotion to the cause of communism.

Comrade Danilo, here in the struggle!


Below, video of Danilo's intervention at the farcical "Truth Commission".