smart

In this unusual ending to an anonymous letter of denunciation sent to the PIDE in January 1962, the denouncer threatens to take up the case directly with Salazar should the ‘suspect’ escape his due punishment.

He needn’t have bothered. As a rule, the PIDE valued any information sent to it ‘from below’, and thoroughly investigated any reports of political dissidence. In this particular case, the ‘suspect’ was indeed a supporter of General Humberto Delgado – a reminder that a significant proportion of the denunciation letters were ‘genuine’ in content (often containing at least some element of truth about the denounced), and not merely opportunistic instruments of private conflict resolution.

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