I and many others who know the writer Rafael Guimaraens always want to know what his next book is. We already knew that he was preparing a book about the fires at the Court of Justice and Police Headquarters buildings. Behold, there is THE INCENDIARY. After all, who was the arsonist? For the Police, Manuel Gonzalez de Aragón, or Major Aragón. He was never a major, he was a miscreant, a crook, with a long police record across the country, from a very young age. But he wasn’t the one who set these places on fire.
We are not going to give a report of “narrative history”. It is a book that is difficult to place in a genre, as it is almost a historical chronicle, almost a memoir and is still a novel. Therefore, due to the content, the narrative and the interspersing of long excerpts from newspaper notes and processes and inquiries, we follow page by page of this exciting book, to find out what will happen.
The great (and perhaps the greatest) importance of Rafael Guimaraens’ book is the serious rescue of a nebulous episode. By writing his “1935” he had shown us many things in our History that were half-forgotten or purposely forgotten and erased. This one goes deep into what many in Rio Grande do Sul want to forget, erase, cross out, prohibit from remembering. Police corruption is clear and evident in this narrative with more than complete evidence. This business about the best police in the country has always been nonsense. It is not stated, but it is clear that the fire was not accidental. This rot remains the comfort of the postures of Manuel Braga Gastal, Josué Guimarães, Candido Norberto and some police officers who honored their public service. Rafael shows step by step the acts of the scum that took over our Police, no longer just a violent police, which is serious, as we saw in 1935, but a rotten, corrupt, disgusting, violent police, frightening. Worse than all that, in Rio Grande do Sul, tough police officers like Poti Medeiros seen in another novel becomes a deputy and now in this one we have Hélio Carlomagno who becomes a deputy. This is all real. We have Aurélio Py, Dagoberto Gonçalves, Ernani Baumann, among others who would have gone to the chair if it weren’t for “the arsonist”. Even so Baumann went, but he had no limits. But why have so many remained silent? We cannot forget delegate Paulo Renato, Gadret, judge João Bonumá, among others, honored their positions.
The book deals with, let’s go back to, the fires of our Court of Justice and the Head of Politics during a two-month interregnum. Processes and investigations that could lead to jail and the loss of jobs of more than 50 police officers were turned into ashes because of the proven theft of belongings from Germans and Italians, obtained by superior orders, due to the Second World War.
This is the theme: theft, corruption and violence by state agents. And that fire, for which a Spaniard paid, under torture.
Therefore, the value of this book, both for its content and for its rescues, souvenirs and memories. To those of us who love books, history, literature and defend truth and ethics, let’s spread the book far and wide, so that many, many people will read it.
Adeli Sell is a teacher, writer and graduate in Law.
***The opinions expressed in articles published in the opinion space express the position of their author and do not necessarily represent the editorial thinking of the South21
The article is in Portuguese