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Portugal

Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence in 1822 of Brazil as a colony. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal entered the EC (now the EU)in 1985.

The coup d'etat was bloodless because no military units came to the aid of the government. On May 30, the president of the republic, Bernardino Machado, turned the reins of power over to Commander Jose Mendes Cabecadas, a naval officer and staunch republican, not to General Gomes da Costa, the titular leader of the military uprising. This resulted in two months of behind-the- scenes infighting among various factions of the military. The promonarchist tendency within the May 28 Movement, as the coup was called, allied itself with right-wing but not necessarily monarchist junior officers who wanted some form of authoritarian state. In the hope of preventing the rise of a monarchist or authoritarian regime, Mendes Cabecadas formed a joint government with Gomes da Costa on June 1. On June 17, Gomes da Costa ousted Mendes Cabecadas and his followers from the provisional government. General da Costa's supremacy was temporary; he too was ousted on July 9. On the same day, General Oscar Fragoso Carmona was named head of the military government.

The military government was now in the hands of monarchists and authoritarian officers, and it seemed as if a restoration of the monarchy would follow. This was not to be, however, because of the reaction that such an outcome could have provoked among a substantial number of republicans within the officer corps. Carmona, who was both a republican and a devout Catholic, was acceptable to a broad range of views. He carefully preserved a balance between pro- and antimonarchists and pro- and anticlerical officers in order to ensure that the military regime would survive. On March 25, 1928, General Carmona was elected to the presidency of the republic and appointed Colonel Jose Vicente de Freitas, a staunch republican, as prime minister, which virtually assured that the monarchy was not going to be restored, at least not during the military dictatorship.

Carmona named Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, a professor of political economy at the University of Coimbra, as minister of finance. Salazar accepted the post on April 27, 1928, only after he had demanded and had been granted complete control over the expenditures of all government ministries. In his first year at the Ministry of Finance, he not only balanced the budget but achieved a surplus, the first since 1913. He accomplished this feat by centralizing financial control, improving revenue collection, and cutting public expenditures. Salazar remained minister of finance as military prime ministers came and went. From his first successful year as minister of finance, Salazar gradually came to embody the financial and political solution to the turmoil of the military dictatorship, which had not produced a clear leader. Salazar easily overshadowed military prime ministers and gradually gained the allegiance of Portugal's young intellectuals and military officers, who identified with his authoritarian, antiliberal, anticommunist view of the world. Moreover, Salazar's ascendancy was welcomed by the church, which saw in him a savior from the anticlericalism of the republicans. It was also welcomed by the upper classes of landowners, businessmen, and bankers, who were grateful for his success in stabilizing the economy after the financial crisis of the First Republic.

As Salazar came to be seen as the civilian mainstay of the military dictatorship, he increasingly took it upon himself to lay out the country's political future. He set forth his plans in two key speeches, one on May 28, 1930, and the other on July 30 of the same year. In the first, he spoke of the need for a new constitution that would create a strong authoritarian political order, which he dubbed the New State (Estado Novo). In the second, he announced his intention to establish such a state. The military approved of Salazar's speeches, and on July 5, 1932, after the collective resignation of the government of General Julio Domingos de Oliveira, which had come to power two years earlier, he was appointed prime minister.

Salazar came from a peasant background. He had studied for the priesthood before turning to economics at the University of Coimbra, where he received his doctorate in 1918 and afterward taught. While a faculty member, he earned a reputation as a scholar and a writer, as well as a leader in Catholic intellectual and political movements. After taking up the reins of government, he retained his professorial style, lecturing the cabinet, his political followers, and the nation. Salazar never married and lived ascetically. A skillful political manipulator with a capacity for ruthlessness, he was a respected rather than a popular figure.

The period of transition to the authoritarian republic promised after the military takeover in 1926 ended in 1933 with the adoption of a new constitution. The 1933 constitution, dictated by Salazar, created the New State, in theory a corporate state representing interest groups rather than individuals. The constitution provided for a president directly elected for a seven-year term and a prime minister appointed by and responsible to the president. The relationship of the office of prime minister to the presidency was an ambiguous one. Salazar, continuing as prime minister, was head of government. He exercised executive and legislative functions, controlled local administration, police, and patronage, and was leader of the National Union (Uniao Nacional--UN), an umbrella group for supporters of the regime and the only legal political organization.

The legislature, called the National Assembly, was restricted to members of the UN. It could initiate legislation but only concerning matters that did not require government expenditures. The parallel Corporative Chamber included representatives of cultural and professional groups and of the official workers' syndicates that replaced free trade unions.

Women were given the vote for the first time, but literacy and property qualifications limited the enfranchised segment of the population to about 20 percent, somewhat higher than under the parliamentary regime. Elections were held regularly, without opposition.

In 1945 Salazar introduced so-called democratic measures, including an amnesty for political prisoners and a loosening of censorship, that were believed by liberals to represent a move toward democratic government. In the parliamentary election that year, the opposition formed the broadly based Movement of Democratic Unity (Movimento de Unidade Democratica--MUD), which brought democrats together with fascists and communists. The opposition withdrew before the election, however, charging that the government intended to manipulate votes. General Norton de Matos, a candidate who had opposed Carmona in the 1949 presidential election, pulled out on the same grounds. In 1958 the eccentric General Humberto Delgado ran against the official candidate, Admiral Americo Tom疽, representing the UN. Delgado pointedly campaigned on the issue of replacing Salazar and won 25 percent of the vote. After the election, the rules were altered to provide for the legislature to choose the president.

Salazar's was a low-keyed personalist rule. The New State was his and not a forum for a party or ideology. Although intensely patriotic, he was cynical about the Portuguese national character that in his mind made the people easy prey for demagogues. He avoided opportunities to politicize public life and appeared uncomfortable with the political groups that were eventually introduced to mobilize opinion on the side of the regime's policies. Politics in Salazar's Portugal consisted of balancing power blocs within the country--the military, business and commerce, landholders, colonial interests, and the church. All political parties were banned. The UN, officially a civic association, encouraged public apathy rather than political involvement. Its leadership was composed of a small political and commercial elite, and contacts within ruling circles were usually made on an informal, personal basis, rather than through official channels. Within the circle, it was possible to discuss and criticize policy, but no channels for expression existed outside the circle.

The UN had no guiding philosophy apart from support for Salazar. The tenets of the regime were said to be authoritarian government, patriotic unity, Christian morality, and the work ethic. Despite a great deal of deference paid to the theory of the corporate state, these tenets were essentially the extent of the regime's ideological content. Although the regime indulged in rallies and youth movements with the trappings of fascist salutes and paraphernalia, it was satisfied to direct public enthusiasm into "fado, Fatima, and football"--music, religion, and sports.

A devout Roman Catholic, Salazar sought a rapprochement with the church in Portugal. A concordat with the Vatican in 1940 reintroduced state aid to Roman Catholic education, but Salazar resisted involving the church--which he called "the great source of our national life"--in political questions. His policies were aimed essentially at healing the divisions caused within Portuguese society by generations of anticlericalism. Although the church had consistently supported Salazar, the regime came under increasing criticism by progressive elements in the clergy in the 1960s. One such incident led to the expulsion of the bishop of Porto.

Whatever may be said of his political methods, Salazar had an exceptional grasp of the techniques of fiscal management and, within the limits that he had set for the regime, his program of economic recovery succeeded. Portugal's overriding problem in 1926 had been its enormous public debt. Salazar's solution was to achieve financial solvency by balancing the national budget and reducing external debt. This solution required a strong government capable of cutting public expenditures and reducing domestic consumption by raising taxes and controlling credit and trade. In a few years Salazar singlemindedly achieved a solvent currency, a favorable balance of trade, and surpluses both in foreign reserves and in the national budget.

The bulk of the Portuguese remained among the poorest people in Europe, however. The austerity that Salazar's fiscal and economic policies demanded weighed most heavily on the working class and the rural poor, forestalling the development that would raise their standards of living. Outside the cities, traditional patterns of life persisted, especially in the conservative north, which had been stabilized by evenly distributed poverty and was a stronghold of support for the regime. To create an atmosphere of rising expectations without having the means to satisfy them, Salazar argued, would return the country to the chaotic conditions Portugal had known earlier in the century.

Stable government and a solvent economy would eventually attract foreign investment regardless of the attitude abroad to the nature of Salazar's regime. Cheap labor and the promise of competitive prices for Portuguese-made goods provided an incentive for investment, particularly in labor-intensive production, which was becoming uneconomic in Northern Europe. Priority was given, however, to colonial development. Salazar insisted that the overseas territories be made to pay for themselves and also to provide the trade surpluses required by Portugal to import the essentials that it could not produce itself. In essence, he updated Portuguese mercantilist policy: colonial goods were sold abroad to create a surplus at home.

In the years before World War II, Salazar cultivated good relations with all major powers except the former Soviet Union. Intent on preserving Portuguese neutrality, he had entered into a nonintervention convention with the European powers during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39); however, Soviet activity in Spain and the leftward course of the Spanish Republic persuaded him to support Francisco Franco's nationalists, with whom more than 20,000 Portuguese volunteers served. The war in Spain also prompted Salazar to mobilize a political militia, the Portuguese Legion, as a counterweight to the army.

Although he admired Benito Mussolini for his equitable settlement of Italy's church-state conflict, Salazar found the "pagan" elements in German nazism repugnant. He opposed appeasement, protested the German invasion of Poland in 1939, and would appear to have been among the first, with Winston Churchill, to express confidence in ultimate Allied victory as early as 1940. Portugal remained neutral during World War II, but the Anglo-Portuguese alliance was kept intact, Britain pledging to protect Portuguese neutrality. The United States and Britain were granted bases in the Azores after 1943, and Portuguese colonial products--copper and chromium--were funneled into Allied war production. Macau and Timor were occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945.

Portugal became a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, and in 1971 Lisbon became headquarters for NATO's Iberian Atlantic Command (IBERLANT). Portugal also maintained a defensive military alliance (the Iberian Pact, also known as the Treaty of Friendship and Nonaggression) with Spain that dated from 1939. Admission to the United Nations (UN) was blocked by the Soviet Union until 1955. In 1961 Indian armed forces invaded and seized Goa, which had been Portuguese since 1510.

Into the early twentieth century, the European settler communities in Portuguese Africa had virtual autonomy, and colonial administrations were perpetually bankrupt. Lisbon's concern in Angola and Mozambique was to make good the Portuguese claim to those territories, and pacification of the interior was still underway in the 1930s. Control over the colonies was tightened under Salazar.

The Colonial Act of 1930 stated that Portugal and its colonies were interdependent entities. The New State insisted on increased production and better marketing of colonial goods to make the overseas territories self-supporting and to halt the drain on the Portuguese treasury for their defense and maintenance. New land was opened for settlement, and emigration to the colonies was encouraged.

Portugal ignored the UN declaration on colonialism in 1960, which called on the colonial powers to relinquish control of dependent territories. Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea were made provinces with the same status as those in metropolitan Portugal by constitutional amendment in 1951. Armed resistance to the Portuguese colonial administration broke out in Angola in 1961 and had spread by 1964 to Mozambique and Guinea. By 1974 Portugal had committed approximately 140,000 troops, or 80 percent of its available military forces, to Africa; some 60 percent of these were African. Portuguese combat casualties were relatively light, and fighting consisted of small-unit action in border areas far from population centers. Only in Guinea did rebel troops control substantial territory. Portuguese forces appeared to have contained the insurgencies, and although large numbers of troops were required to hold the territory, Portugal seemed to some observers capable of sustaining military activity in Africa indefinitely. These same observers considered that, from a military standpoint, the wars had been won.

The wars did not interrupt the colonial production on which Portuguese economic stability depended. Indeed, they had provided a windfall to economic development in Angola and Mozambique, both with large settler communities. A large rural development project was underway in the Cahora Bassa region of Mozambique, as was the exploitation of oil in Cabinda enclave near Angola. More colonial income was being diverted into social services for Africans and Europeans, and in areas of medicine and education better facilities were thought to be available in Luanda and Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) than in Lisbon. However, forced native labor remained a factor in the economic development of Portuguese Africa into the 1960s. Foreign investment capital often came to the colonies from countries whose governments had officially condemned Portuguese colonialism.

No one except Pombal left so broad a mark on modern Portuguese history as Salazar. For nearly forty years, he completely dominated Portuguese government and politics. His departure was prosaic: he suffered an incapacitating stroke in June 1968 after a freak accident and died, still in a coma, more than a year later.

President Tomas appointed Marcello Jose das Neves Caetano to succeed Salazar as prime minister, although the regime did not admit for some time that Salazar would not be returning to power. Caetano was a teacher, jurist, and scholar of international reputation who had been one of the drafters of the 1933 constitution. Considered a moderate within the regime, he had taken unpopular stands in opposition to Salazar. He had resigned as rector of Lisbon University in 1960 in protest over police repression of student demonstrations. Unlike Salazar he came from the upper middle class, was ebullient and personable, and sought contact with the people.

It was clear from the start that Caetano was a different sort of leader. He spoke of "evolution within continuity," change fast enough to keep up with expectations but not so fast as to antagonize conservatives. He brought technocrats into the government and eased police repression. The elections held in 1969 were the freest in decades. He even altered the nomenclature of the regime; the New State became the Social State, but it remained essentially an authoritarian regime.

In contrast to Salazar, Caetano advocated an expansionist economic policy and promoted rapid development and increasing consumption without, however, supplementing the means of production. The consequence of liberalization was the first perceptible inflation in years, reaching 15 percent on such working-class staples as codfish and rice in the early 1970s.

Prime Minister Caetano had inherited Salazar's office but not his power nor, apparently, his skill as a politician and economist. President Tom疽, meanwhile, had emerged with greater authority, as Salazar's death put him in a position to exercise the constitutional authority of the presidency to the fullest. Deeply conservative and supported by an entrenched right wing within the official political movement, Tom疽 employed threats of an army coup to oppose Caetano's policy of liberalization. Caetano took a harder line on Africa in an effort to head off opposition by the president and the officers close to him.

As the events of spring 1974 were to demonstrate, the regimes of Salazar's New State and Caetano's Social State had depended on personalities. In existence for nearly fifty years, the institutions of the corporate state had never put down roots in Portuguese political soil. Apathy had not implied support. On April 25, 1974, the officers and men of the Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forcas Armadas--MFA) ousted Caetano and Tom疽, paving the way for a junta under General Antonio de Spinola to take command of the Portuguese Republic.

Portugal moved from authoritarian rule to parliamentary democracy following the 1974 military coup against dictator Marcello Caetano, himself a continuation of the long-running dictatorship of Antonio Salazar. After a period of instability and communist agitation, Portugal ratified a new constitution in 1976. Subsequent revisions of the constitution placed the military under strict civilian control, trimmed the powers of the president, and laid the groundwork for a stable, pluralistic liberal democracy, as well as privatization of nationalized firms and the government-owned communications media. Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, and has moved toward greater political and economic integration with Europe ever since.

In December 2001 voters gave a decisive victory to the center-right Social Democratic party (PSD) in municipal elections, forcing Socialist Prime Minister Guterres to resign on December 17, 2001. National elections took place on March 17, 2002, 2 years ahead of schedule. The PSD returned to power after a 6-year absence, winning a plurality of the vote and legislative seats. The new prime minister, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, formed an alliance with the conservative Popular Party (CDS/PP), giving the ruling coalition an absolute majority in the parliament. The new government has committed itself to public-sector austerity and business incentives to promote growth, trade, and productivity.

 

ECONOMY

Membership in the European Union (EU) contributed to stable economic growth, largely through increased trade ties and an inflow of funds to improve the country's infrastructure. After a recession in 1993, the economy grew at an average annual rate of 3.3%, well above EU averages. In order to qualify for the European Monetary Union (EMU), Portugal agreed to cut its fiscal deficit and undertake structural reforms. The EMU brought to Portugal exchange rate stability, falling inflation, and falling interest rates. Falling interest rates, in turn, lowered the cost of public debt and helped the country achieve its fiscal targets.

Household debt has expanded rapidly. The European Commission, OECD, and others have advised the Portuguese Government to exercise more fiscal restraint. Portugal's public debt exceeded 3 % of GNP in 2001, the EU's self-imposed limit, and left the country open to either EU sanctions or tighter financial supervision. The overall rate of growth slowed in late 2001 and into 2002, making fiscal austerity that much more painful to implement. Portugal will be forced into greater self-sufficiency when EU funds are likely to be discontinued in 2006. In addition, EU expansion into eastern Europe also will erase Portugal's key competitive advantage, low labor costs.

Portugal's economy is based on traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork and wood products, beverages (wine), porcelain and earthenware, and glass and glassware. In addition, the country has increased its role in Europe's automotive sector. Services, particularly tourism, are playing an increasingly important role in the economy.

Portugal has made significant progress in raising its standard of living to that of its EU partners. GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity basis rose from 51% of the EU average in 1985 to 78% in early 2002. Unemployment stood at 4.1% at the end of 2001, which is low compared to the EU average. Real wages are flexible, but high social costs and severance packages raise fixed labor costs and make new job creation difficult.

 

BELIEFS

Portugal was profoundly Roman Catholic. According to common saying, "to be Portuguese is to be Catholic," and approximately 97 percent of the population considered itself Roman Catholic--the highest percentage in Western Europe. Only about one-third of the population attended mass and took the sacraments regularly, but nearly all Portuguese wished to be baptized and married in the church and to receive its last rites. Portugal was Roman Catholic not only in a religious sense, but also socially and culturally. Although church and state were formally separated during the First Republic (1910-26), a separation reiterated in the constitution of 1976, the two still formed a seamless web in many areas of life. Catholic precepts historically undergirded the society, as well as the polity. The traditional notions of authority, hierarchy, and accepting one's station in life all stemmed from Roman Catholic teachings. Many Portuguese holidays and festivals had religious origins, and the country's moral and legal codes derived from Roman Catholic precepts. The educational and health care systems were long the church's preserve, and whenever a building, bridge, or highway was opened, it received the blessing of the clergy. Hence, although church and state were formally separated, absolute separation was not possible in practice.

Portugal was first Christianized while part of the Roman Empire. Christianity was solidified when the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe already Christianized, came into the Iberian Peninsula in the fifth century. Christianity was nearly extinguished in southern Portugal during Moorish rule, but in the north it provided the cultural and religious cement that helped hold Portugal together as a distinctive entity. By the same token, Christianity was the rallying cry of those who rose up against the Moors and sought to drive them out. Hence, Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church predated the establishment of the Portuguese nation, a point that shaped relations between the two. Under Afonso Henriques (r. 1139-85), the first king of Portugal and the founder of the Portuguese state, church and state were unified into a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership. To secure papal recognition of his country, Afonso declared Portugal a vassal state of the pope. The king found the church to be a useful ally as he drove the Moors toward the south and out of Portuguese territory. For its support of his policies, Afonso richly rewarded the church by granting it vast lands and privileges in the territories conquered from the Moors. The church became the country's largest landowner, and its power came to be equal to that of the nobility, the military orders, and even, for a time, the crown. But Afonso also asserted his supremacy over the church, a supremacy that--with various ups and downs--was maintained.

Although relations between the Portuguese state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable, their relative power fluctuated. In the thirteenth century and fourteenth century, the church enjoyed both riches and power stemming from its role in the reconquest and its close identification with early Portuguese nationalism. For a time the church's position vis-à-vis the state diminished until the growth of the Portuguese overseas empire made its missionaries important agents of colonization. In 1497, reflecting events that had occurred five years earlier in Spain, Portugal expelled the Jews and the remaining Moors--or forced them to convert. In 1536 the pope gave King João III (r.1521-57) permission to establish the Inquisition in Portugal to enforce the purity of the faith. Earlier the country had been rather tolerant, but now orthodoxy and intolerance reigned. The Jesuit order was placed in charge of all education. In the eighteenth century, antichurch sentiment became strong. The Marquês de Pombal (r.1750-77) expelled the Jesuits in 1759, broke relations with Rome, and brought education under the state's control. Pombal was eventually removed from his office, and many of his reforms were undone, but anticlericalism remained a force in Portuguese society. In 1821 the Inquisition was abolished, religious orders were banned, and the church lost much of its property. Relations between church and state improved in the second half of the nineteenth century, but a new wave of anticlericalism emerged with the establishment of the First Republic in 1910. Not only were church properties seized and education secularized, but the republic went so far as to ban the ringing of church bells, the wearing of clerical garb on the streets, and the holding of many popular, religious festivals. These radical steps antagonized many deeply religious Portuguese, cost the republic popular support, and paved the way for its overthrow and the establishment of a conservative right-wing regime.

Under the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar (r. 1928-68), the church experienced a revival. Salazar was himself deeply religious and infused with Roman Catholic precepts. Before studying law he had been a seminarian; his roommate at the University of Coimbra, Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, later became cardinal patriarch of Lisbon. In addition, Salazar's corporative principles and his constitution and labor statute of 1933 were infused with Roman Catholic precepts from the papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (1931). Salazar's state was established on the principles of traditional Roman Catholicism, with an emphasis on order, discipline, and authority. Class relations were supposed to be based on harmony rather than the Marxist concept of conflict. The family, the parish, and Christianity were said to be the foundations of the state. Salazar went considerably beyond these principles, however, and established a full-fledged dictatorship. His corporative state continued about equal blends of Roman Catholic principles and Mussolini-like fascism. In 1940 a concordat governing church-state relations was signed between Portugal and the Vatican. The church was to be "separate" from the state but to enjoy a special position. The Concordat of 1940 reversed many of the anticlerical policies undertaken during the republic, and the Roman Catholic Church was given exclusive control over religious instruction in the public schools. Only Catholic clergy could serve as chaplains in the armed forces. Divorce, which had been legalized by the republic, was again made illegal for those married in a church service. The church was given formal "juridical personality," enabling it to incorporate and hold property. Under Salazar, church and state in Portugal maintained a comfortable and mutually reinforcing relationship. While assisting the church in many ways, however, Salazar insisted that it stay out of politics--unless it praised his regime. Dissent and criticism were forbidden; those clergy who stepped out of line--an occasional parish priest and once the bishop of Porto--were silenced or forced to leave the country.

In the Portuguese constitution of 1976, church and state were again formally separated. The church continues to have a special place in Portugal, but for the most part it has been disestablished. Other religions are now free to organize and practice their beliefs. In addition to constitutional changes, Portugal became a more secular society. Traditional Roman Catholicism flourished while Portugal was overwhelmingly poor, rural, and illiterate, but as the country became more urban, literate, and secular, the practice of religion declined. The number of men becoming priests fell, as did charitable offerings and attendance at mass. By the early 1990s, most Portuguese still considered themselves Roman Catholic in a vaguely cultural and religious sense, but only about one-third of them attended mass regularly. Indifference to religion was most likely among men and young people. Regular churchgoers were most often women and young children. The church no longer had its former social influence. During the nineteenth century and on into the Salazar regime, the church was one of the most powerful institutions in the country--along with the army and the economic elite. In fact, military, economic, governmental, and religious influences in Portugal were closely intertwined and interrelated, often literally so. Traditionally, the first son of elite families inherited land, the second went into the army, and the third became a bishop. By the early 1990s, however, the Roman Catholic Church no longer enjoyed this preeminence but had fallen to seventh or eighth place in power among Portuguese interest groups. By the 1980s, the church seldom tried to influence how Portuguese voted, knowing such attempts would probably backfire. During the height of the revolutionary turmoil in the mid-1970s, the church urged its communicants to vote for centrist and conservative candidates and to repudiate communists, especially in northern Portugal, but after that the church refrained from such an overt political role. The church was not able to prevent the enactment of the constitution of 1976, which separated church and state, nor could it block legislation liberalizing divorce and abortion, issues it regarded as moral and within the realm of its responsibility.

The practice of religion in Portugal showed striking regional differences. Even in the early 1990s, 60 to 70 percent of the population in the traditionally Roman Catholic north regularly attended religious services, compared with 10 to 15 percent in the historically anticlerical south. In the greater Lisbon area, about 30 percent were regular churchgoers. The traditional importance of Roman Catholicism in the lives of the Portuguese was evident in the physical organization of almost every village in Portugal. The village churches were usually in prominent locations, either on the main square or on a hilltop overlooking the villages. Many of the churches and chapels were built in the sixteenth century at the height of Portugal's colonial expansion and might and were often decorated with wood and gold leaf from the conquests. In recent decades, however, they were often in disrepair, for there were not enough priests to tend them. Many were used only rarely to honor the patron saints of the villages. Much of the country's religious life had traditionally taken place outside the formal structure and official domain of the Roman Catholic Church. This was especially true in rural areas where the celebration of saints' days and religious festivals were popular. The most famous of Portuguese religious events was the supposed apparition of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917 in the village of Fátima in the province of Santarém. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have visited the shrine at Fátima in the belief that the pilgrimage could bring about healing. Rural Portuguese often sought to establish a close and personal relationship with their saints. Believing God to be a remote and inaccessible figure, they petitioned patron saints to act as intermediaries. This system of patronage resembled that operating in the secular realm. To win their saint's goodwill, believers presented the saint with gifts, showed that they gave alms to the poor, and demonstrated upright behavior, hoping that the saint might intercede on their behalf with God. Women tended to practice their religion more than men did, as evidenced by church attendance. In addition, the Virgin Mary, who was the most popular of the spiritual mediators, was often revered more than Jesus and served as the patron of religious processions. The image of the Virgin, as well as that of Christ, were commonly displayed, even in labor union offices or on signs in demonstrations. The Roman Catholic Church sometimes criticized religious folk practices for dividing people from their God. The church could not monitor all folk customs, however, and such practices continued even in the 1990s. Moreover, the church recognized that many Portuguese felt at least as much loyalty to their saints and customary religious practices as they did to the more formal church. For these reasons, it was not unusual that the church tolerated and sometimes even encouraged these practices as a way of maintaining popular adherence to Roman Catholicism. Other aspects of Portuguese folk religion were not approved by the official church, including witchcraft, magic, and sorcery. Formal religion, folk beliefs, and superstition were frequently jumbled together, and in the popular mind all were part of being Roman Catholic. Particularly in the isolated villages of northern Portugal, belief in witches, witchcraft, and evil spirits was widespread. Some persons believed in the concept of the "evil eye" and feared those who supposedly possessed it. Again, women were the main practitioners. Almost every village had its "seers," practitioners of magic, and "healers." Evil spirits and even werewolves were thought to inhabit the mountains and byways, and it was believed that people must be protected from them. Children and young women were thought to be particularly vulnerable to the "evil eye." As people became better educated and moved to the city, they lost some of these folk beliefs. But in the city and among educated persons alike, superstition could still be found, even in the early 1990s. Sorcerers, palm readers, and readers of cards had shops, particularly in poorer neighborhoods, but not exclusively so. In short, a strong undercurrent of superstition still remained in Portugal. The formal church disapproved of superstitious practices but was powerless to do much about them. In contrast to that of Spain, Portuguese Catholicism was softer and less intense. The widespread use of folk practices and the humanization of religion made for a loving though remote god, in contrast to the harshness of the Spanish vision. In Portugal, unlike Spain, God and his saints were imagined as forgiving and serene. In Spain the expressions depicted on the faces of saints and martyrs were painful and anguished; in Portugal they were complacent, calm, and pleasant.

For most of Portugal's history, few non-Catholics lived in the country; those who did could not practice their religion freely. Until the constitution of 1976 was enacted, laws restricted the activities of non-Catholics. By the early 1990s, only some 50,000 to 60,000 Protestants lived in Portugal, about 1 percent of the total population. They had been kept out of the country for three centuries by the Inquisition. However, the British who began settling in Portugal in the nineteenth century brought their religions with them. Most belonged to the Church of England, but others were Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Presbyterians. Protestantism remained largely confined to the foreign communities. The 1950s and 1960s saw the arrival of Pentecostals, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses, all of whom increased in numbers more rapidly than the earlier arrivals did. All groups, however, were hampered by prohibitions and restrictions against the free exercise of their religions, especially missionary activities. These restrictions were lifted after the Revolution of 1974. The constitution of 1976 guarantees all religions the right to practice their faith. Protestant groups came to be recognized as legal entities with the right to assemble. Portuguese who were both Protestant and conscientious objectors had the right to apply for alternative military service. The Roman Catholic Church, however, still sought to place barriers in the way of Protestant missionary activities. The Jewish community in Portugal numbered between 500 and 1,000 as of the early 1990s. The community was concentrated in Lisbon, and many of its members were foreigners. The persecution of Portuguese Jewry had been so intense that until recent decades Portugal had no synagogue or even regular Jewish religious services. The few Jewish Portuguese were hence isolated from the main currents of Judaism. Their community began to revive when larger numbers of foreign Jews (embassy personnel, business people, and technicians) began coming to Portugal in the 1960s and 1970s. In northern Portugal, there were a few villages of Marranos, descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity to avoid persecution and whose religion was a mixture of Judaism and Christianity. Portugal's Muslim community consisted of a small number of immigrants from Portugal's former colonies in Southern Africa, and larger numbers of recent immigrant workers from Northern Africa, mainly Morocco.

 

INCIDENCE OF CRIME

In general the Portuguese are law-abiding people who respect the virtues of honesty. In addition, social discontent has been kept low by emigration, which served traditionally as a release for social pressures in both rural and urban areas. Decolonization in Africa, however, brought over 800,000 unemployed refugees to Portugal, some of whom became involved in crime. Some other young adults and discharged soldiers, unemployed and unable to emigrate, turned to crime. Nevertheless, statistics on the commission of crime between 1984 and 1988 showed an actual reduction in most categories. Drug offenses, however, increased from 1,154 to 1,782. Portugal was an important transshipment point for narcotics because of its geographic position near the North African coast and on the air routes between South America and Western Europe. Indigenous drug use and production were not, however, considered to be major problems.

Violent crimes, though not unknown in Portugal, were rare. Murders were generally crimes of passion and only infrequently associated with robbery. Premeditated homicide was punishable by a prison sentence of from sixteen to twenty years, although mitigating circumstances often led to reduced terms. In 1988, out of a total of 513 homicide arrests, 205 were for negligent homicide; 331 of the arrested received prison terms.

Larceny was by far the most common form of crime. In 1988 over 41,000 thefts of all kinds were recorded. They included 12,800 thefts under aggravated circumstances, 4,000 armed or violent thefts, 7,400 cases of breaking and entering, and 5,300 automobile thefts. In 1988 nearly 4,000 cases of fraud and more than 17,000 cases involving bad checks were reported, although few of the latter resulted in court trials. There were 121 rapes and 165 other sexual offenses. A total of 10,800 persons were tried for crimes against the person, although only 73 of these were classified as serious attacks.

As of year 2001, the crime rate in Portugal is medium compared to industrialized countries. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Portugal. For purpose of comparison, data were drawn for the seven offenses used to compute the United States FBI’s index of crime. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The combined total of these offenses constitutes the index used for trend calculation purposes. Portugal will be compared with Japan (country with a low crime rate) and USA (country with a high crime rate). According to the INTERPOL data, for murder, the rate in 2001 was 2.58 per 100,000 population for Portugal, 1.10 for Japan, and 5.61 for USA. For rape, the rate in 2001 was 3.35 for Portugal, compared with 1.78 for Japan and 31.77 for USA. For robbery, the rate in 2001 was 179.84 for Portugal, 4.08 for Japan, and 148.50 for USA. For aggravated assault, the rate in 2001 was 8.28 for Portugal, 23.78 for Japan, and 318.55 for USA. For burglary, the rate in 2001 was 425.27 for Portugal, 233.60 for Japan, and 740.80 for USA. The rate of larceny for 2001 was 903.51 for Portugal, 1401.26 for Japan, and 2484.64 for USA. The rate for motor vehicle theft in 2001 was 253.52 for Portugal, compared with 44.28 for Japan and 430.64 for USA. The rate for all index offenses combined was 1776.35 for Portugal, compared with 1709.88 for Japan and 4160.51 for USA. (Note that data are for year 2000)

 

TRENDS IN CRIME

Between 1995 and 2001, according to INTERPOL data the rate of murder decreased from 3.99 to 2.58 per 100,000 population, a decrease of 35.3 percent. The rate of rape increased from 1.51 to 3.35, an increase of 121.9 percent. The rate of robbery increased from 75.84 to 179.84, an increase of 137.1 percent. The rate for aggravated assault increased from 1.48 to 8.28, an increase of 459.5 percent. The rate for burglary increased from 159.26 to 425.27, an increase of 167 percent. The rate of larceny increased from 233.43 to 903.51, an increase of 287 percent. The rate of motor vehicle theft increased from 53.79 to 253.52, an increase of 371.3 percent. The rate of total index offenses increased from 529.3 to 1776.35, an increase of 235.6 percent.

 

POLICE

Following the end of the long authoritarian regime in Portugal in April 1974, the system of internal security was reorganized. The Public Security Police (Polícia de Segurança Pública--PSP) and the National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana--GNR), viewed as having been active supporters of the regime, were put temporarily under military command. As of 1990, internal security was the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Administration (formerly the Ministry of Interior). The forces of security were controlled by, and fully responsible to, the government.

The revolutionary turmoil of 1974 to 1976 imposed a severe challenge on the maintenance of law and order. In addition to occasional violence by leftist and rightist groups, the emergence of separatist activity in the Azores and Madeira posed threats to the territorial integrity of Portugal. After constitutional government was established in 1976, political violence abated. Between 1980 and 1986, however, an ultra left-wing terrorist group, Popular Forces of the 25th of April (Forças Populares do 25 Abril--FP-25), its name referring to the coup d'etat of April 25, 1974, conducted a campaign of bombing, assassinations, and bank robberies.

Although the main duties of the police had always been the prevention, detection, and investigation of crime and the maintenance of public order, their involvement under successive governments in suppressing political and labor organizations left a reservoir of fear and mistrust among the Portuguese people. The authority of the police, which was identified with the old regime, was seriously compromised by the Revolution of 1974. During the months after the revolution, there was a sharp rise in crime and disorder owing to the virtual disappearance of social and moral constraints imposed by tradition and reinforced by the authoritarian regime. Until the civilian police forces, disarmed after the revolution, could be reorganized and retrained to operate in Portugal's new political environment, armed forces security units assumed responsibility for internal security. By 1976, control of the police apparatus was returned to civilian authorities in the Ministry of Internal Administration.

Article 272 of the Constitution of 1976, as revised in 1982, emphasized the responsibility of the police to defend the democratic process and to ensure that they acted within the law and did not exceed their authority. In carrying out their mission of preventing crimes, including crimes against the security of the state, the police were enjoined to observe the rights, freedoms, and safeguards of citizens. The constitution stipulated that each of the forces of security were to have a single organization for the entire national territory.

The GNR was formed in 1913 as a heavily armed paramilitary constabulary organized up to battalion strength. It was intended as a check against the military and was first employed to confront monarchist-inspired revolts within the ranks of the armed forces. Although its essential mission was one of maintaining order in the countryside, the GNR's activities were subsequently extended to those of helping the urban police to control demonstrations and quell labor unrest.

In 1990 the GNR numbered approximately 19,000 officers and men. It was equipped with Commando armored cars and twelve Alouette II helicopters transferred from the German army. The guard was organized into battalions stationed in the major cities and companies and sections in district capitals and smaller communities. Highway patrols were conducted by a separate Traffic Brigade and by rural units of the GNR.

Reserve and career officers from all branches of the armed forces could be seconded to tours of duty in the GNR on a voluntary basis. Reservists who were university graduates could apply to continue as GNR officers upon completion of their military obligations.

The PSP was a paramilitary police force under the jurisdiction the Ministry of Internal Administration. Its basic mission was the protection of property and public security in urban areas. Before its reorganization in 1953, the urban police had been under the control of provincial governors. During the colonial wars, security police assault units were dispatched to Africa, where they participated in combat operations against guerrilla forces. The PSP was reorganized and retrained in 1975, and its heavy equipment was turned over to the army.

PSP detachments operated from divisional headquarters in Lisbon and from the eighteen districts of continental Portugal, which were divided into North, South, and Central zones. There were also headquarters for Madeira and the Azores and sectional headquarters in smaller towns. Greater Lisbon and greater Porto had separate commands. A specialized traffic service shared highway patrol responsibilities with the GNR Traffic Brigade. A special group, the Intervention Police, had mobile sections poised for deployment anywhere in the country. Criminal investigation and data gathering was centralized under the General Anti-Crime Directorate, which employed 1,500 specialized officers and investigators. As of 1990, the PSP had a complement of 17,000 individuals. Staff was drawn from among former servicepersonnel. Since the early 1970s, women had also been recruited for plainclothes investigations and traffic control assignments.

In 1989, a demonstration by some 1,000 police personnel outside the Ministry of Internal Administration took a violent turn. The police had tried to form a union, but the government rejected the idea on grounds that the police, as a military organization, were prohibited by the National Defense Law of 1982 from having a union. The police maintained that they needed a union to improve working conditions marked by long hours and low pay. In the late 1980s, for example, an ordinary patrol officer earned the equivalent of only US$390 a month.

In 1990 the Fiscal Guard (Guarda Fiscal; also known as Treasury Police) was a border control force of 8,500 charged with customs inspections and the collection of import duties. In addition, they investigated smuggling, tax evasion, and illegal financial transactions, particularly those involving importexport businesses and currency exchange. Most of its uniformed and plainclothes police were stationed at frontier crossing points, ports, and terminals of entry. Their monitoring of entries and departures by foreigners also produced a flow of information needed by internal security agencies. The Maritime Police had functions similar to a coast guard service. The Judicial Police, responsible to the minister of justice, acted in conjunction with the court system in investigating crimes, particularly those involving subversion and terrorism, and preparing cases for prosecution.

The existence in Portugal of an intelligence apparatus for political surveillance and control was as old as the modern state and dated at least from the sixteenth century. Under Salazar, however, a secret police organization of extensive and pervasive influence became a formidable component of his authoritarian regime. The secret police, called the International Police for the Defense of the State (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado--PIDE), although under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, was in fact controlled directly by Salazar. Under revisions of the law after 1954, PIDE officers were entitled to act as inquiring magistrates empowered to detain for trial persons suspected of crimes against the state. Suspects were routinely arrested without warrants and often held for months without specific charges brought against them and without access to legal assistance. Disappearance and torture were commonplace.

Agents of PIDE carried out covert operations within communist organizations, the government-run labor unions, the armed forces, the universities, and the Portuguese emigré communities abroad. During the 1960s and 1970s, PIDE directed its efforts to suppressing opposition to the war effort in the African colonies, particularly on university campuses, and to tracking down antiregime terrorists responsible for bombing military and strategic installations.

Although PIDE was renamed the General Security Directorate (Direcção Geral de Segurança--DGS) by Marcello Caetano's government, it retained its old image. The abhorrence felt for it was so strong that it was abolished in Portugal the day after the Caetano regime was toppled. Abuses by the security apparatus were subsequently reported in detail in the Portuguese press, causing even more revulsion among the public. Outrage over the prolonged detention and torture of suspected terrorists and opposition politicians resulted in the arrest of PIDE-DGS agents and investigations of past operations of the organization.

The lingering specter of PIDE and DGS as pillars of the authoritarian regime in the memory of the Portuguese people delayed the establishment of a new civilian intelligence agency for more than a decade. Following an Armenian terrorist attack on the Embassy of Turkey in 1983, the assassination of a Palestine Liberation Organization representative at a Socialist International conference the same year, and a number of domestic terrorist attacks, the Portuguese government became convinced of the need for a new intelligence agency. After the passage of authorizing legislation in late 1984, the Intelligence System of the Republic of Portugal (Sistema de Informações da República Portuguesa--SIRP) was established in 1986. SIRP was intended to be the parent body for three separate intelligence services: the Security Intelligence Service (Serviço de Informações e Segurança--SIS), the Military Intelligence Service (Serviço de Informações Militares--SIM), and the Defense Strategic Intelligence Service (Serviço de Informações Estratégicas de Defesa--SIED). SIS, under the minister of internal administration, was given the mission of gathering intelligence to ensure internal security and to prevent sabotage, terrorism, espionage, and acts that could alter or destroy the constitutionally established state of law. SIM was intended to replace the Military Intelligence Division of the armed forces, but the transition had not been effected as of 1991. Military intelligence continued to be the responsibility of the chief of staff of the armed forces. Its authority was limited to gathering intelligence needed to carry out the missions of the armed forces and to guarantee military security, although some strategic intelligence collection abroad was reportedly also conducted.

Under the 1984 legislation, SIED, reporting directly to the prime minister, was to be responsible for producing intelligence needed to safeguard the independence and external security of the Portuguese state. The government had decided to defer the creation of SIED, however, asserting that the limited financial resources available should be dedicated to developing an effective internal security organization rather than an agency focusing on external security. Thus, SIS was the only arm of the intelligence apparatus operating as contemplated in the 1984 legislation. SIS functioned under considerable handicaps, employing only about eighty persons as of 1990. Its sole office was in Lisbon, although branches were planned for Porto, Ponta Delgada, and Funchal. SIS agents were not authorized to make searches or arrests, to intercept correspondence or tap telephones, or to intervene in normal criminal cases. Although no SIS agents were known to have been exposed to violence, they were entitled to hazardous duty pay at about 30 percent above normal civil service scales.

The 1984 security law prohibited the employment of former PIDE agents in any Portuguese intelligence function. Accordingly, SIS was launched with few adequately qualified individuals. In spite of a public recruiting drive, analysts estimated that it would be some years before Portugal could boast of a domestic intelligence service staffed with fully seasoned personnel.

In light of the history of violations of civil rights by PIDE, several bodies were formed to monitor the activities of the Portuguese intelligence community. The Council to Oversee the Intelligence Services, composed of three deputies elected by the Assembly of the Republic, was mandated to review the actions of the intelligence services and report its findings annually to the Assembly of the Republic. The Commission to Control Data, made up of three judges, monitored the intelligence data center to protect individuals against any collection of data violating their rights under the Constitution. The Superior Intelligence Council, a twelve-member interministerial body, advised the prime minister and coordinated intelligence matters.

Since the transition to democratic rule was completed in 1976, the country has been relatively free from subversive or terrorist activity threatening the maintenance of constitutional authority. The only significant terrorist group, the Popular Forces of the 25th of April (Forças Populares do 25 Abril--FP25 ), carried out a number of attacks between 1980 and 1986, but at no time did it pose a major threat to the security of the state. Effective counterterrorism measures and the absence of public support sharply curtailed the ability of FP-25 to sustain its campaign of violent operations against the Portuguese government and Western and NATO missions in Portugal.

FP-25 claimed to be a workers' organization dedicated to a struggle against exploitation, misery, and repression. Its stated goals were to defeat "imperialism," to lead a "workers' assault on bourgeois power," and to achieve the violent overthrow of the Portuguese government. The FP-25 also bitterly opposed the United States and NATO. No evidence of direct ties to other European terrorist groups existed, although Portuguese authorities asserted that some financial support had come from Libya. Between 1980 and 1984, most FP-25 actions involved assassinations, bombings, and bank robberies. Beginning in 1984, the group focused its attacks on United States and NATO targets. Mortars were fired at the compound of the Embassy of the United States, at NATO's IBERLANT headquarters, and at NATO ships anchored in Lisbon harbor. Bombs destroyed a number of cars owned by West German air force personnel. FP-25's ability to wage its terrorist campaign was curtailed by the arrest of a large number of its adherents in June 1984, including Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, who had become a popular hero in Portugal after playing a key role in the Revolution of 1974. Other obscure radical groups claimed responsibility for subsequent minor bombing attacks, but such acts of terrorism abated in 1987. As of early 1992, Carvalho was free on a conditional basis, and the issue of a general amnesty for members of FP-25 had aroused wide public interest.

Separatist independence movements have long existed in the Azores and Madeira archipelagoes. The main group, the Azorean Liberation Front, has been responsible for many demonstrations but has not been associated with clandestine activities and violence. A newer group, the Azorean Nationalist Movement, was regarded as illegal because Portuguese law prohibited any association advocating the independence of the Azores. The existing system of autonomy recognized by the constitution of 1976 and subsequent legislation have endowed the regional governments with considerable rights and greatly reduced the appeal of the separatist movements.

As of year 2001, internal security is primarily the responsibility of the Ministries of Justice and Internal Administration.  The Republican National Guard (GNR) has jurisdiction outside cities, and the Public Security Police (PSP) has jurisdiction in cities.  The civilian authorities maintain effective control of the security forces; however, members of the security forces committed human rights abuses.
 
There were no reports of political killings; however, police shot and killed one person during the year.  In July a PSP officer shot and killed Arturo Mendes Pereira during a nighttime operation against drug traffickers in suburban Lisbon.  Authorities began investigating the case in July, but no one had been charged by year's end.

In January 2000 in Porto, Alvaro Rosa Cardoso, a member of the Roma community, died from internal abdominal bleeding after a violent encounter with police.  The two officers alleged to be responsible were charged, but a court found the officers not guilty since it could not be determined whether the internal bleeding was due to the fight before the arrest or the alleged police mistreatment afterwards.  Cardosa's family continued to blame the death on police mistreatment.  The case remained on appeal in a Porto court at year's end.

Also in January 2000 in Porto, Paulo Silva died of internal bleeding which may have been caused by police mistreatment during an arrest.  The case was reopened in October and remained under investigation at year's end.
 
Two police officers were convicted in 1999 of illegal abduction in the case of Olivio Almada, whose body was found in 1996.  The two convicted officers were sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison term and were ordered to pay compensation to the family. 

Three PSP officers were convicted in December 1998 on criminal charges related to the death in custody in 1996 of Carlos Araujo.  In January 1999, the officers appealed the verdict a second time, and their case remained in the appeals process at year's end.  Disciplinary proceedings against the officers were deferred until after the criminal case is resolved. 

The Constitution prohibits torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the use of evidence obtained under torture in criminal proceedings; however, there were credible but infrequent reports that police and prison guards beat and otherwise abused detainees, particularly non-Europeans.

In December a PSP officer shot and injured an unarmed suspect, Paulo Moreira, who allegedly tried to run down the police in a car during a pursuit in Lisbon.  An investigation was under way at year's end. 

According to the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Amnesty International, a GNR infantry sergeant reported in August 1999 that in spite of the new regulations, the mistreatment of detainees was "virtually systematic."  In November 1999, the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration (IGAI) opened an inquiry into the sergeant's allegations and began disciplinary proceedings against him personally, on unrelated charges.  However, the IGAI stated that these proceedings were not in response to the allegations he made.  The GNR agents implicated by the sergeant were undergoing a criminal trial in a military tribunal in Coimbra at year's end.

In July the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published a report of one of its periodic visits in 1999.  Comparing conditions with its 1992 and 1995 visits, the Committee found that, although some allegations of ill treatment persisted, few detainees complained of mistreatment by police.  The report also noted sustained efforts by the authorities to improve the material conditions in police detention centers.

According to Amnesty International, police allegedly detained and beat Candido Coelho at the Damaia PSP station in December 2000.  Of Mozambican origin, Coelho apparently suffers from a mental disability.  He lodged a complaint against the PSP officers, but the case was closed by the IGAI, which found no evidence to prove Coelho's claims.

According to Amnesty International, police arrested Jorge Manuel da Conceicao Simoes in 1999 on suspicion of possessing drugs and allegedly beat him when he refused to sign a confession.  The IGAI found that Simoes had been detained illegally but did not pursue the beating charge for lack of evidence.  Amnesty International also reported that police allegedly beat Marco Fernandes in 1999 in Madeira with a pipe and a police radio.  In January the IGAI disciplined the police officer involved by suspending him for 200 days' without pay.  A police officer who used electroshock torture in Sintra in 1999 was fired from the force, and a criminal case against him was ongoing at year's end.   

An independent ombudsman was chosen by the Parliament and the IGAI to investigate complaints of mistreatment by the police; however, NGO's have been critical of the slow pace of police investigations in general and internal investigations by the police in particular.  In an attempt to respond to negative reports on the treatment of detainees and to consolidate alleged improvements in the system, legislation entitled "Regulations on the Material Conditions of Detention in Police Establishments" was adopted in 1999.  The law provides detailed guidelines covering all aspects of arrest and custody.  According to an NGO, the law has led to some improvements but has not completely eliminated abuses. There were reports that citizens, particularly skinheads, committed violent acts against nonethnic Portuguese persons.

Credible information from independent reports and NGO's indicated that prison conditions remained poor; however, the Directorate General of Prison Services (DGSP) continued to take steps to improve them.  Prison overcrowding remained a serious problem, but due to higher levels of funding and DGSP-led improvements, the rate of overcrowding went from a 1996 high of 57.5 percent (14,177 prisoners and 8,999 places) to 17 percent (13,500 prisoners and 11,371 places) at year's end.  Men and women are housed separately.  While there is a youth prison in Leiria, juveniles are at times held with adults.  Pretrial detainees are held with convicted criminals.

Following the end of the long authoritarian regime in Portugal in April 1974, the system of internal security was reorganized. The Public Security Police (Poicia de Seguranca Publica--PSP) and the National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana--GNR), viewed as having been active supporters of the regime, were put temporarily under military command. As of 1990, internal security was the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Administration (formerly the Ministry of Interior). The forces of security were controlled by, and fully responsible to, the government.

The revolutionary turmoil of 1974 to 1976 imposed a severe challenge on the maintenance of law and order. In addition to occasional violence by leftist and rightist groups, the emergence of separatist activity in the Azores and Madeira posed threats to the territorial integrity of Portugal. After constitutional government was established in 1976, political violence abated. Between 1980 and 1986, however, an ultra left-wing terrorist group, Popular Forces of the 25th of April (Forcas Populares do 25 Abril--FP-25), its name referring to the coup d'etat of April 25, 1974, conducted a campaign of bombing, assassinations, and bank robberies

 

DETENTION

The Constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the Government generally observes these prohibitions.

Under the law, an investigating judge determines whether an arrested person should be detained, released on bail, or released outright.  A person may not be held for more than 48 hours without appearing before an investigating judge.  Investigative detention is limited to a maximum of 6 months for each suspected crime.  If a formal charge is not filed within that period, the detainee must be released.  In cases of serious crimes such as murder or armed robbery, or of more than one suspect, investigative detention may last for up to 2 years and may be extended by a judge to 3 years in extraordinary circumstances.  A suspect in investigative detention must be brought to trial within 18 months of being charged formally.  If a suspect is not in detention, there is no specified period for going to trial.  A detainee has access to lawyers; the state assumes the cost if necessary; however, a July report issued by the CPT criticized the lengthy period during which many detainees remained in police custody before having access to a lawyer.

Excessively long periods of preventive detention continued to be a problem.  Early in the year, prisoners went on a series of hunger strikes to protest, among other things, prolonged periods of preventive detention.  The average number of prisoners returned to custody by court order ("remand") is high (approximately 30 percent).  Judges argue that preventive detention is justified by the high incidence (40 percent) of repeat offenders.
 

 

COURTS

Restrictions on freedom of assembly and of the press, on the rights of association and of public protest, and on the right to strike were removed with the promulgation of the new Constitution in April 1976. The constitutionally mandated Council of Social Communication, whose members were elected by the Assembly of the Republic, acted as a watchdog to protect freedom of speech and access to the media. The council publicized abuses, made recommendations to the Assembly of the Republic, and had enforcement powers; however, it had never been required to exercise such powers. There were two restrictions on civil liberties. "Fascist" organizations were prohibited by law. In addition, persons could be prosecuted for "insulting" civil or military authorities if such an "insult" was intended to undermine the rule of law. Several prosecutions had resulted under these provisions.

The constitution of 1976 drastically altered the role of the police to protect civil rights. It gave guidelines for criminal investigation and treatment of suspects. The constitution specified that no person could be held without trial or imprisoned without a definite sentence. Individuals could not be deprived of citizenship for political reasons. The principle of habeas corpus was restated and was applied without exception to both civilian criminal courts and military tribunals. A petition for a writ of habeas corpus was to be answered by a judge within eight days. Torture and inhumane detention were made illegal. Confessions obtained under duress and any material obtained by illegal means were declared inadmissible as evidence in criminal proceedings. The privacy of personal correspondence and telephone communication was also guaranteed in the Constitution, and forcible entry into homes and searches without a judicial warrant were forbidden.

The Portuguese criminal justice system was organized on a national basis. The Ministry of Justice had control over the court system, the office of the attorney general, the Judicial Police, and prisons. The office of the attorney general had a hierarchy parallel to that of the judiciary. Its representatives prosecuted cases in each of Portugal's judicial districts and their subdivisions. An assistant deputy attorney general prosecuted cases before the municipal court at the local level or municipality. At the district level, above the municipality, the deputy attorney general represented the state before the district court, which housed a panel of one to three judges to determine guilt or innocence and decide the sentence.

Portugal had four judicial regions, each with an appeals court having appellate jurisdiction over cases tried in the district or lower courts in its area. The districts were Lisbon, with 66 courts; Porto, with 110 courts; Coimbra, with 80 courts; and Évora, with 60 courts. Appeals were allowed only on the basis of judicial error in the original proceedings. Cases tried in a district court were automatically reviewed after sentencing by the appeals court of the region. The Ministry of Justice reviewed all cases and could intervene to initiate a formal appeal. Because the appeals process was often lengthy, bail was frequently allowed the accused during the proceeding, except in cases involving homicide, serious assault, or grand larceny, or when it was likely that the accused would flee.

Persons apprehended while committing a crime were typically held in preventive detention and were usually not considered eligible for conditional liberty. Persons not caught in the commission of a crime were usually given conditional liberty on submission of a bail bond or article of value. An individual taken into custody could not be held for more than forty-eight hours without being brought before a prosecuting magistrate who reviewed the case and determined whether the accused person should be held in preventive detention or released on bail. Preventive detention was limited to a maximum of four months for each crime. Because of the cumbersome and backlogged judicial system and vacant judgeships, however, detention beyond four months was not unusual for major crimes, such as murder or armed robbery. For this reason, judges were required to give priority to cases of those in preventive detention.

Persons unable to afford an attorney had one appointed by the court. Detainees were given access to their lawyers while awaiting trial. The indictments were made available to the accused and their attorneys, and charges could be answered in briefs by the defense attorneys. Presiding judges could dismiss a case on the basis of a defense attorney's brief or continue the trial at their own discretion.

A clear procedural distinction existed between arrest and trial. A panel of three judges (which did not include the prosecuting judge) presided over cases that went to trial. A ministerial delegate assisted the judges in reviewing the evidence. At the request of the accused, a jury could be used in trials for major crimes. Provision for a jury system was a particularly significant innovation of the constitution.

The constitution reaffirmed the basic guarantee of a fair trial and stipulated that trials were to be public except when they could offend the dignity of the victim, as in cases involving sexual abuse of children. To avoid the malpractices of the authoritarian Salazar-Caetano regime, when agents of the secret police exercised the power of magistrates, strict judicial supervision over indictments and trial procedure was provided. An ombudsman, elected to serve a four-year term by the Assembly of the Republic, was Portugal's chief civil and human rights officer. The ombudsman received about 3,500 complaints annually; the majority involved alleged maladministration by the bureaucracy.

Before the Salazar-Caetano era ended in 1974, persons accused of offenses defined as crimes against the state could be legally detained for periods ranging from six months to three years without being charged. Suspects convicted of crimes against the state could be held in prison for renewable three-year terms, which could result in life imprisonment. Those considered less dangerous were exiled to an overseas territory or were obliged to post large bonds as guarantees of acceptable conduct in the future. Acts and conspiracies of military or civilians against the government were severely prosecuted. Advocating or acting in favor of African liberation movements was considered to be a political offense. Conspiring to participate in antigovernment demonstrations or strikes, inciting others to strike, or taking part in violence associated with a strike were punishable under similar laws. Membership in the Portuguese Communist Party (Partido Comunista Português--PCP) or in any group dedicated to the violent overthrow of the government was prohibited.

After the revolution, specific laws against the PCP, which had been harshly suppressed and forced to operate clandestinely from 1926 to 1974, were voided, allowing the party to participate openly in Portugal's political life. In spite of the ban on "fascist" organizations, some small extreme right-wing groups functioned without interference. The only other remaining restriction on political activity barred simultaneous membership in more than one party.

Although Portugal held no political prisoners, some of the radical leftist opponents of the regime have claimed that prosecutions for participating in terrorist organizations were politically motivated. Among these was the 1987 prosecution of sixty-four persons sentenced to prison because they were members of FP-25; the most notable of those sentenced was Carvalho, one of the leaders of the Revolution of 1974. According to the United States Department of State's human rights reports, there appeared to be substantial evidence for the criminal charges brought in these cases, and Carvalho's conviction was upheld after appeal to the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice.

The constitution provides for the Constitutional Court; the Supreme Court of Justice and the Supreme Administrative Court, both of which have subordinate courts; and a variety of special courts, including a military court system. It states that the courts are the "organs of supreme authority competent to administer justice in the name of the people." The courts are also designated as "independent and subject only to the law."

The Constitutional Court, called into existence by the constitutional reform of 1982, judges whether legislative acts are legal and constitutional. Among other duties, this court also ascertains the physical ability of the president to carry out presidential functions and to examine international agreements for their constitutionality. Ten of its thirteen members are chosen by the Assembly of the Republic.

The Supreme Court of Justice is designated the "highest court of law," but "without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court," and heads the court system that deals with civil and criminal cases. The courts of first instance (the first courts to try a case) are the municipal and district courts; the courts of second instance are, as a rule, courts of appeal. As of the early 1990s, there were four of these latter courts. The Supreme Court of Justice may serve as a court of first instance in some cases and as an appeals court in others.

The Supreme Court of Administration examines the fiscal and administrative conduct of government institutions. It is not concerned with the state's political decisions or legislation. One section of this court deals with administrative disputes; below it are three courts of first instance. Another section deals with tax disputes and is supported by courts of first and second instance. In addition to these courts, there is a Court of Audit situated in the Ministry of Finance.

Overseeing the nominations, training, promotions, transfers, and professional conduct of Portugal's judges are the Higher Council of the Bench and the Superior Council of the Administrative and Fiscal Courts. These bodies have the right to discipline judges whose conduct does not comply with the law. Also looking after the rights of the citizens is the ombudsman, elected by the Assembly of the Republic for a four-year term. In the early 1990s, this official received some 3,000 complaints a year from Portuguese who felt they had been improperly dealt with by state institutions.

The Portuguese legal and judicial system was based on Roman civil law and was heavily influenced by the French system. It differed from the United States or British legal systems in that a complete body of law was found in the codes. As a result, judicial reasoning was deductive, and prior cases or precedent played little role. A judge was therefore seen mainly as a civil servant whose role was to discover and apply the appropriate law from the codes, not to interpret it or to apply new sociological findings. Hence, judges enjoyed less prestige than in a system based on common law. In addition, law was seen as more fixed and immutable than in the United States, although over time it did change. The historically authoritarian nature of Portugal's system of government was often attributed to this centralized and hierarchical legal system.

Portugal's legal system was considered relatively fair and impartial. During the Salazar regime, the courts were loyal servants of the New State, and high officials of the regime were all but immune from judicial proceedings. After the Revolution of 1974, Salazar-appointed judges were largely removed in favor of revolutionary ones, and certain groups--such as workers and peasants--were often favored over owners and employers before the law. With time, however, the courts came to function with greater impartiality. Most criticism centered on the fact that the courts were slow and overburdened. Long periods of time were often required for the legal system to deal with even routine matters, nor did the courts adequately keep pace with new judicial issues, such as drugs and white-collar crime.

The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the Government generally respects this provision in practice.

The court system, laid out in the Constitution, consists of a Constitutional Court, a Supreme Court of Justice, and judicial courts of first and second instance.  There is also a Supreme Court of Administration, which deals with administrative and tax disputes, and which is supported by lower administrative courts.  An audit court is in the Ministry of Finance.

The Constitution provides for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforces this right.  All trials are public except those that may offend the dignity of the victim, such as in cases of sexual abuse of children.  The accused is presumed innocent.  In trials for serious crimes, a panel of three judges presides.  For lesser crimes, a single judge presides.  At the request of the accused, a jury may be used in trials for major crimes; in practice, requests for jury trials are extremely rare.

Critics point to a large backlog of pending trials resulting from the inefficient functioning of the courts.  A law passed during the year aims to reduce the case backlog by increasing the number of judges.  The bill also has provisions to reduce the time it takes a lawyer to become a judge.  Another new law passed during the year provides that witnesses may testify in cases heard in distant jurisdictions via teleconference.  The Ministry of Justice also implemented a plan to speed up the serving of subpoenas.  Many factors contributed to the backlog problem, including the underutilization of technology (case folders are still sewn closed by a large number of "needlemen/women"), the confusing and drawn out method of serving subpoenas, and the reluctance of the justice system to accept change. 

In 2000 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the Ministry of Justice to pay a fine to three plaintiffs in three separate civil cases.  The first case involved two sets of proceedings that lasted nearly 11 years.  The second case was not resolved after 7 years, and the third case had continued for 41/2 years.  In April the ECHR ordered the Ministry of Justice to pay a fine to a corporate plaintiff in a case that had lasted over 17 years without a final resolution.  Many similar examples of judicial delay and backlog are reported in the press. 

Restrictions on freedom of assembly and of the press, on the rights of association and of public protest, and on the right to strike were removed with the promulgation of the new Constitution in April 1976. The constitutionally mandated Council of Social Communication, whose members were elected by the Assembly of the Republic, acted as a watchdog to protect freedom of speech and access to the media. The council publicized abuses, made recommendations to the Assembly of the Republic, and had enforcement powers; however, it had never been required to exercise such powers. There were two restrictions on civil liberties. "Fascist" organizations were prohibited by law. In addition, persons could be prosecuted for "insulting" civil or military authorities if such an "insult" was intended to undermine the rule of law. Several prosecutions had resulted under these provisions.

The constitution of 1976 drastically altered the role of the police to protect civil rights. It gave guidelines for criminal investigation and treatment of suspects. The constitution specified that no person could be held without trial or imprisoned without a definite sentence. Individuals could not be deprived of citizenship for political reasons. The principle of habeas corpus was restated and was applied without exception to both civilian criminal courts and military tribunals. A petition for a writ of habeas corpus was to be answered by a judge within eight days. Torture and inhumane detention were made illegal. Confessions obtained under duress and any material obtained by illegal means were declared inadmissible as evidence in criminal proceedings. The privacy of personal correspondence and telephone communication was also guaranteed in the Constitution, and forcible entry into homes and searches without a judicial warrant were forbidden.

 

CORRECTIONS

The Portuguese penal system was under the control of the minister of justice. Portugal had thirty-nine prisons and three military prisons as of 1988. The civilian prisons included twelve central prisons, twenty-four regional prisons, and three special institutions. Their total capacity was 7,633, and the actual population as of December 31, 1987, was 8,361. Of this total, 6,964 were adult males, 475 were adult females, and 922 were youths under the age of twenty-one. There were 186 military prisoners. The prison population had remained fairly stable between 1984 and 1988. By far the largest institutions were the central prisons, which had a total capacity of 4,870. The regional prison capacity was 1,758; the special prison, 706; and the military prisons, 299.

Seven reformatories held 457 male youths, and 211 female juveniles were detained at three institutions. The remainder were assigned to observation and social action centers at Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra.

The average time served in prisons by adult males was about six months. The incarceration ratio in 1990 was 83 per 100,000 population, comparable to the ratios in neighboring Spain and France but only one-fifth that of the United States.

The type of prison regime to which an offender was sentenced was designated by the district punishment court upon conviction. Youthful offenders were given opportunities to learn trades. The mastery of a trade while in prison and good behavior were considered in reducing time spent in prison. Individuals convicted three times of the same crime were considered a danger to society and were not usually eligible for parole. Unlike other prisoners, who might be allowed to do farm work, they could be kept to a strict prison regime. All prisoners earned money for their work while in prison, and work was considered a necessary part of the rehabilitation process.

Occasional complaints of individual mistreatment by police and prison authorities were investigated by the ombudsman. In 1985 a number of FP-25 prisoners engaged in periodic hunger strikes and other protests against prison conditions. A stricter regime was imposed on those remaining after ten FP-25 members accused of common crimes escaped from Lisbon's main penitentiary. The United States State Department's human rights reports asserted that no independent evidence had appeared confirming the inadequacy of prison conditions.

As of year 2001, credible information from independent reports and NGO's indicated that prison conditions remained poor; however, the Directorate General of Prison Services (DGSP) continued to take steps to improve them.  Prison overcrowding remained a serious problem, but due to higher levels of funding and DGSP-led improvements, the rate of overcrowding went from a 1996 high of 57.5 percent (14,177 prisoners and 8,999 places) to 17 percent (13,500 prisoners and 11,371 places) at year's end.  Men and women are housed separately.  While there is a youth prison in Leiria, juveniles are at times held with adults.  Pretrial detainees are held with convicted criminals.

Two prisons, Vale de Judeus and Pinheiro da Cruz, continued to have cells without proper hygiene facilities.  Health problems such as hepatitis and drug abuse continued, and prisoners suffered from a high HIV infection rate.  In 1999 the health services director of the Bureau of Prisons reported that 7 out of every 10 convicts entering the prison system were infected with HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C.  An estimated 20 percent of the total prison population was infected with HIV.  Tuberculosis was also on the rise.  Prison health services, although not adequately staffed, benefited from increased spending on health services, the use of local health care providers to help prison inmates, and the construction of new health care facilities in many prisons.  The CPT in its report for the year commended prison authorities for their efforts to improve health care services.

There were persistent reports regarding the mistreatment of prisoners by prison guards, drug addiction in prisons, and a lack of heat in winter.  An NGO reported that outside guards sometimes entered a prison at night, rounded up prisoners, and beat them in the infirmary.  Prison authorities deny these reports and point to the existence of organized violence among inmates.  During their visit, the CPT delegation received fewer allegations of mistreatment by prison staff than during their previous visit in 1995.  However, according to the CPT report, some problems remained concerning verbal abuse and the use of batons.  Accounts of prisoner mistreatment by fellow inmates also continued to be a significant concern.  In addition the report mentioned the widespread availability of illicit drugs, especially at Custoias, the central prison in Porto.  In a March letter to the Justice Minister, Amnesty International expressed concern about allegations of physical mistreatment in eight cases during 2000 at Linho Prison (Sintra) and of poor conditions at the prison.  The DGSP responded that in many cases the prisoners in question had been subjected to disciplinary measures.  In one case, a guard was reprimanded.  According to the DGSP, Linho Prison was being renovated during the year, although work was not completed by year's end.  To help combat brutality by guards, the DGSP began using resources from Amnesty International; all guards participate in mandatory training conducted by Amnesty International on such topics as nonviolent control of prisoners and conflict resolution.

The ombudsman investigates complaints of mistreatment by the police and prison authorities.  The IGAI also conducts internal investigations in cases of alleged mistreatment in prisons. 

The Government permits visits by independent human rights monitors, such as the Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of Torture.

 

WOMEN

Domestic and other violence against women reportedly was a common but partially hidden problem for which few seek legal recourse.  During 2000 police agencies recorded 11,765 cases of family violence.  The major NGO providing services to victims handled 7,593 cases in which there were a total of 8,429 crimes of domestic violence.  In these cases, 95 percent of the victims were women.  Nearly 37 percent of the women were between the ages of 25 and 45.  Although cases of domestic violence occurred throughout the country, the vast majority of cases came from the large urban centers of Lisbon and Porto.  Domestic violence is particularly a problem in the Azores archipelago.

An NGO-operated, toll-free hot line for victims of domestic violence operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Its success demonstrates an increased public awareness, which reportedly is helping to break down the social reluctance to report cases of domestic violence.  The hot line was especially helpful to female victims who were illiterate.  The NGO operating the hot line handled 5,575 cases of domestic violence during the first 6 months of the year.

The law provides for criminal penalties in cases of violence by a spouse, and the judicial system prosecutes suspects accused of abusing women; however, traditional societal attitudes still discourage many battered women from recourse to the judicial system.  Parliament continued to address the problem of domestic violence through legislative initiatives.  Under the law, perpetrators of domestic violence may be barred from contact with their victims, and in extreme cases, the police can order the immediate expulsion of a perpetrator from the victim's dwelling.  The law also calls for the development of new programs to teach anger management to perpetrators and to assist victims with the professional development necessary to live independent lives.  The law establishes a national support network and a system of compensation for victims of domestic violence, although by year's end such a system was not in place.  Another law provided for the expansion of the system of shelters for victims.  The Government also strengthened educational campaigns for the public and specialized training for the police. 

In 2000 Parliament changed the legal definition of domestic violence to make it a public crime.  This obliges the police to follow through on reports of domestic violence.  The change gives police and the courts more leverage to prosecute such cases and removes from the victim some of the burden of bringing charges.  Parliament also mandated the creation of domestic violence units in the police, and of a new domestic violence category in the Attorney General's report on crime; however, these changes had not yet been implemented by year's end.  Parliament also changed the Penal Code to grant any interested party the ability to file charges in domestic violence cases. 

Prostitution is legal, but procurement is not.  Trafficking in women for the purposes of prostitution continued to be problem.  Prostitution is linked closely to other types of organized crime, especially international narcotics trafficking.  The Nest, an NGO, operates economic and social recovery programs for prostitutes.

Sexual harassment, a problem that continued to gain public attention, is covered in the Penal Code as a sex crime.  However, the legal definition of the term "sexual harassment" is unclear, and it is only a crime if perpetrated by a superior and in the workplace.  The penalties are 2 to 3 years' imprisonment.  As in the case of domestic violence, socially ingrained attitudes discourage many women from taking advantage of the legal protection available.  The Commission on Equality in the Workplace and in Employment, made up of representatives of the Government, employers' organizations, and labor unions, is empowered to examine, but not adjudicate, complaints of sexual harassment; however, it receives few such complaints. 

The Civil Code provides for full legal equality for women.  Women increasingly are represented in university student bodies, business, science, and the professions.  A gap nevertheless remains between male and female salaries:  according to the latest figures available (1998), women earned an average of 77 percent of men's earnings.  Women make up a slight majority of university graduates.  The Commission on Equality in the Workplace and in Employment reviews numerous complaints of discrimination by employers against pregnant workers and new mothers, who are protected by law.  Maternity leave was increased in 2000 from 90 days to 120 days with full pay and benefits.  After return to work, a new mother (or father) may take time off every day to nurse or feed an infant.  If pregnant or nursing women or new fathers are fired, they may take their complaint to the government Equality Commission (CITE), which was established to deal with equal opportunity complaints.  If CITE finds that the employee's legal rights were violated, the employer must reinstate the worker and pay double back pay and benefits for the time at work missed due to the wrongful firing.

 

CHILDREN

The Government is strongly committed to children's rights and welfare; it amply funds systems of public education and medical care.  The Government provides 9 years of compulsory, free, and universal education for children through the age of 15, most of whom attend school.  The Government provides free or low cost health care for all children up to the age of 15.  A special office in the Directorate General of Health oversees implementation of the Government's programs for children.  During the year, the directorate initiated a program to coordinate assistance for children of immigrant families and a program to support early childhood, which includes the provision of better childcare facilities.  Preschool education is free for children from 3 to 4 years old.  Each year the number of students enrolled in preschool has increased.  The directorate also improved the quantity and quality of temporary shelters for children aged 3 months to 3 years.There is no societal pattern of abuse of children, although child labor remained a problem. The law defines pedophilia to include consumers of child pornography as well as producers.

The National Children's Rights Commission, a governmental organization, is charged with implementing the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Commission operates under the aegis of the High Commissioner for the Promotion of Equality and of the Family and includes representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Health, Education, and Solidarity, as well as from leading NGO's.  The quasi-independent Institute for the Support of Children organized a network of 48 NGO's dedicated to helping at-risk youth.  The University of Minho's Institute for the Study of Children is a research center dedicated solely to the study of children's issues.  The Institute for the Support of Children organizes public awareness programs serves as an information clearinghouse for NGO's working on children's' issues and promotes legislation protecting children's rights.  It provides telephone and in-person counseling, intervention, and prevention services in cases of child abuse and neglect.  It also operates services assisting the at-risk youth known as "criancas da rua" (street kids).

Primary education (age six to twelve) and junior high school (age thirteen to fifteen) free and compulsory, but because many children began working at early age, primary education was all education many children received. Senior high school (age sixteen to seventeen) had academic and vocational components. Twelfth grade (age eighteen) prepared youths for university and technical college. Estimated literacy rate for those over age fifteen in 1990 85 percent.

 

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Portugal is a country of destination for people, predominantly men, from Eastern Europe, especially Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus but also from Brazil and Lusophone Africa, who come to work in the construction industry and are put into exploitative labor conditions. Some women from Eastern Europe are also trafficked into sexual exploitation.

The Government of Portugal fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Portugal has criminal and immigration laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The government actively investigates trafficking cases, as exhibited by increased investigations and arrests of alleged traffickers. The government has broken up large trafficking rings. The courts have handed down convictions of traffickers. The government cooperates with other European Union countries to investigate and prosecute traffickers. To protect victims, Portugal has a recent immigration law that provides a mechanism for illegal aliens to obtain lawful immigration status based on having employment. The Portuguese Labor Ministry released a "Welcome Guide," designed to teach new immigrants the basics of living and working in Portugal, which is in the process of being translated into several languages. The government provides some funding to NGOs to act as social assistance associations and offers protection to victims and witnesses. To prevent trafficking, the government pursues a policy focused on integrating immigrants and minorities into the mainstream of Portuguese society. With the recent law allowing immigrants to legalize their immigration status, immigrants also become eligible for health and welfare benefits. The law allows for individuals to receive an annually renewable authorization of stay. After five years, the immigrant may apply for an extension of residency or must leave the country. The government supports print and internet informational programs in Portuguese, English and Russian. The Commission for Equality and Women痴 Rights has a working group that informs trafficking victims of their legal rights. Portugal coordinates with other European Union countries on migration and asylum matters. 

 

DRUG TRAFFICKING

The drug problem in Portugal is one of trafficking and consumption. Consumption has remained consistently flat, and heroin is considered the drug of choice. Drugs originating in North Africa and South America come into Portugal by air and sea, and overland from Europe.

The Portuguese law enforcement efforts are coordinated through judicial police and social programs overseen by Projecto Vida. In 1999, Projecto Vida will be phased out. Its programs will shift from rehabilitation to prevention and its coordinating role transferred to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Drug Addiction. Incarceration of drug users is rare, and addiction is treated by Portuguese law as an illness, not a crime. Portugal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

International drug smugglers use Portugal as a transit point -- a way station for drug shipments headed into Europe from North Africa, including Morocco, and from Latin America. As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Portugal enjoys open borders with eight other member countries (France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg). This unfortunately has facilitated the movement of drugs with Italy, Germany and The Netherlands. Linguistic and cultural ties with Brazil and Mozambique also posed trafficking problems for Portugal. None of the drugs seized in the first semester of 1998 were considered to be destined for the US.

Portugal is not considered an important regional financial center and money laundering has not historically been an issue here. However, in 1997 Portugal reportedly detected $148.5 million in funds laundered as a result of drug trafficking.

Portugal organized the UN Special Session on Drugs last June, and Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio was the keynote speaker. President Sampaio remains concerned and committed to tackling the drug issue. He considers national discussion of the drug problem one of his top priorities.

President Sampaio and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) hosted a summit in Oporto last October for several Latin American countries. The summit marked a move towards increasing practical cooperation and policy coordination within the Ibero-American community.

In March, Portugal and Spain signed a treaty establishing cooperation in maritime interdiction efforts. The treaty establishes mutual rights to inspect each other's ships, seize drug shipments, detain suspects, and to escort suspect vessels to the nearest port in either country.

Heroin use has remained constant over the past several years. Authorities seized twice as much heroin in the first half of 1998 as they did in the first half of 1997, and one and a half times as much cocaine. This is due to two drug busts that took down major rings. The first included the dismantling of the "Philip Howlin" organization broken up by the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJP) of the Ministry of Justice, and USG law enforcement working together. The U.S. Government presented a half-million dollars from seized assets to the PJP. This was the first case of asset sharing between the United States and Portugal.

The second case was the arrest and detention of Stephen Louis Abelman, a hashish trafficker and money launderer wanted for prosecution in California. Ultimately, Mr. Abelman returned to the U.S. voluntarily -- the Portuguese police provided substantial assistance to the U.S. in this case.

At the national level, the PJP has overall responsibility for counternarcotics efforts, including investigations of international trafficking and distribution. The PJP also serves as the record keeper on narcotics matters for the Portuguese government, maintaining narcotics-related statistics which are shared with the EU and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) liaison in Madrid.

At the municipal level, the Public Security Police (PSP) of the Ministry of Internal Administration handles issues of small-scale drug peddling and consumption. PSP officers in some cities are involved in a "safe schools" project similar to the U.S. D.A.R.E. program. The Republican National Guard (GNR), also of the Ministry of Internal Administration has that responsibility outside major cities and on highways. The Customs Bureau works to prevent the entry of illicit drugs into Portugal by air or sea. Oftentimes, the jurisdictions of these various agencies overlap. It is not uncommon to find remote townships with their own PSP units, or to find both GNR and customs working interdiction. The PJP hopes to improve coordination among the various agencies in the coming year.

The Portuguese government prefers to see addicts in drug therapy programs rather than in prison. Judges have the power to offer convicted users a choice between shorter prison sentences or longer therapy programs and often do. However, the prisoner cannot be compelled to enter therapy and many refuse the offer. Systematic or large-scale corruption has not been an issue in Portugal. No corruption cases were reported in 1998.

Portugal continues to support the goals of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Customs Bureau carefully monitors import of narcotics-related chemicals. Importers are required to identify the end user of all chemicals in order to prevent diversion. The Customs Bureau cooperates with the United States under the terms of the 1996 Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. Portugal is also a member of the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group, begun in 1971, which provides a Europe-level forum for the discussion and exchange of information on narcotics and narcotics-trafficking issues. Extradition between the U.S. and Portugal is governed by a "list" treaty that dates from 1908. The U.S. and Portugal have no MLAT, and rely instead on time-consuming letters rogatory for mutual legal assistance. USG interest in a new extradition treaty with Portugal continues, although no formal negotiations have been scheduled.

In recent years, Moroccan hashish and Afghan opium have been entering Portugal through European countries. Cocaine and heroin enter Portugal by light aircraft and by boat. In the first semester of 1998, the majority of the heroin seized by the authorities originated in The Netherlands, India and Thailand. Seized cocaine generally comes from Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia; hashish from Spain and cannabis from Angola. Portugal is the destination for a majority of seized drugs. The remainder are destined for Spain, Italy, France, Mozambique, Macau, south Africa, Senegal and Togo.

The civilian fight against drug addiction is the responsibility of Projecto Vida (Life Project), an umbrella organization charged with coordinating community and government actions at all levels. Projecto Vida's mission is to reintegrate drug addicts back into society, and raise public awareness. Projecto Vida is funded by the national lottery and the Education, Labor and Social Security Ministries. It includes representatives from the Labor, Health and Defense Ministries (the latter dealing largely with the problem of drug addiction in the armed forces). Projecto Vida administers a needle exchange program (also a part of the country's efforts against AIDS), health services, psychiatric counseling, a methadone program and detoxification services. These programs take place outside the national health system on a parallel track.

Last June, President Sampaio announced the results of a study on drugs, which he had commissioned in 1997. The Commission for a National Strategy Against Drugs produced a final report which recommended phasing-out Projecto Vida and a shifting program focus from the treatment of addicts to a preventive approach, especially with young children. Projecto Vida is expected to be abolished sometime in 1999. Its programs and responsibilities will be turned over to the Ministry for Youth, Sports and Drug Addiction. Portuguese citizens are visibly interested and vocal about decriminalization of drugs, particularly for private use. While politicians stress continuity in Portugal's counternarcotics strategy, they are not adverse to some policy changes in that direction.

Regional counternarcotics and law enforcement responsibilities for Portugal are handled through the Drug Enforcement Administration office at the United States Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Last year, the United States Government arranged for a Coast Guard mobile training team to conduct interdiction training for the Portuguese Customs Bureau. This training was well-received, and a second interdiction training team is planned for early this year. 1999 will also see the first GNR attendee at the Coast Guard maritime law enforcement course in Yorktown, Virginia.

Last July, U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey visited Portugal. He also visited the EMCDDA and participated in an informal conference with his European Union counterparts. General McCaffrey also met with Drug Addiction Minister Jose Socrates and other Portuguese law enforcement officials. The visit, which gave impetus both to US-EU and US-Portugal cooperation, was highly successful.

Last November, Dr. Bernadette Pelissier, Chief of Research at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, North Carolina, went to Portugal for a conference concerning the rehabilitation and societal reintegration of drug addicts. Dr. Pelissier, whose work involves narcotics in prisons, also met with Portuguese prison and counternarcotics officials. The 1908 U.S.-Portugal Extradition Treaty does not cover financial crimes, drug trafficking or organized crime, and lacks provisions for asset seizure and asset sharing. However, drug trafficking is currently covered under Portugal's obligations as a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The USG looks forward to working with Portuguese law enforcement officials to improve internal coordination and cooperation, refocusing social programs on prevention and revise the international legal framework.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Internet research assisted by Gerralynn Owen

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