CLICK ON IMAGE GRID ABOVE TO SCROLL THROUGH IMAGES.
Photo Archive on the Assault by Henrique Galvão on the Santa Maria in the Secretariado Nacional da Informação, Cultura Popular e Turismo (SNI).
For twelve days, starting on January 22, 1961, the ocean liner Santa Maria was in control of the revolutionary group commanded by the captain Henrique Galvão. Thirteen Portuguese and eleven Spanish men formed the group called, Direção Revolucionária Ibérica da Libertação, under the command of Henrique Galvão and Jorge Sottomayor. The Operation Dulcineia was a response against the dictatorships of Spain and Portugal, its repression mechanisms, archaic colonial policy, and severe economic and social situation of Portugal.
The photographs of the incident preserved at the National Archives of Torre do Tombo, under the National Information Secretariat division, show many aspects of the apparent normality while the hijacking took place. Pictures showing the revolutionaries posing for the camera at the deck, or at the command tower, or simply having a meal are remarkable when considering the discrepancy between the number of crew members and passengers, of more than 900 people, and the numbers in the group that hijacked the Santa Maria, totaling 24.
After a few days on the route to Africa, the hijackers renamed ship, Santa Liberdade (Holy Liberty), and were spotted by a Danish freighter that reported the situation to the American Coast Guard. Even though the objectives of captain Henrique Galvão and the group of revolutionaries were aborted and the ship was forced to dock in Recife, Brazil, this incident remains one of the most astounding attacks on the Iberian fascist regimes, especially against the Salazar dictatorship.