The Defiant Life and Forgotten Death of Apulco de Castro: Race, Power, and Historical Memory

How to Cite

Holloway, T. (2008). The Defiant Life and Forgotten Death of Apulco de Castro: Race, Power, and Historical Memory. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 19(1). Retrieved from


At 4:30 in the afternoon on 25 October 1883, in front of police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Apulco de Castro, a well known public figure, editor and publisher of the newspaper O Corsário, was murdered. The killing took place in broad daylight in plain view of the Chief of Police, who watched along with a crowd of onlookers as a group of junior army officers in civilian disguise stabbed and shot the victim. Although the identities of the perpetrators were well known, no one was ever brought to trial or punished. The assassination was followed by several days of rioting in the streets of Brazil's capital city during which authorities made hundreds of arrests. A week later as large crowds gathered for the Seventh-Day Mass for the victim there were more disturbances followed by considerable discussion and political tension in the following weeks. Yet today the name of Apulco de Castro is all but forgotten, and the few times his career is mentioned he is dismissed as nothing more than an unprincipled scandalmonger whose killing, if not legally justified, was the expected result of his misuse of the press.

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ISSN 0792-7061
Editores:  Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
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