Santa Catarina lost this Tuesday (14) the former governor Colombo Salles, aged 97. Appointed during the Military Dictatorship to the position he held between 1971 and 1975, the politician was a contemporary of a transformation experienced by the cities of Santa Catarina at the time, both economic and social. But, after all, what was the State governed by Salles like 50 years ago?
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Here, 2.9 million people lived, 4.7 million less than today, according to the 2022 Census. The largest city in Santa Catarina was still Florianópolis, which had 138 thousand inhabitants. And anyone who thinks that the second largest was Joinville is mistaken: the title belonged to Lages, with 129 thousand, followed by Manchester in Santa Catarina, which had 126 thousand. Blumenau was fourth, with recently gained 100 thousand residents.
See what SC was like during the Colombo Salles government
Drag to the side and check out images and information about the cities of Santa Catarina in the 1970s, when Colombo Salles governed SC after being appointed by President Médici.
Florianópolis was still the largest city in the state, with 138 thousand inhabitants and 26 thousand households (Photo: Antigas de Florianópolis, Personal Archive)
This is what Beira-Mar Norte was like in Florianópolis in the 1970s… (Photo: Antigas de Florianópolis, Personal Archive)
The largest city in the state today was not the largest at the time. Joinville had 126 thousand inhabitants, 12 thousand less than the Capital. Ten years later, that number would almost double. (Photo: Classicalbuses, Reproduction)
JEC, 12 times champion of Santa Catarina, did not yet exist. Joinville was still divided between Caxias and América. (Photo: Roberto Alves, Personal Archive)
Blumenau had just reached 100 thousand residents and still depended heavily on the textile industry in the economy. (Photo: Adalberto Day Archive)
The Textile Industry Electronic Center (Cetil) had just been created in Blumenau, an innovative project that was the birthplace of IT in Santa Catarina. (Photo: Historical Archive)
Cetil, a pioneer in innovation and technology for the industry, was located in Blumenau (Photo: Arquivo Histórico)
In the 1970s, Itajaí Airport (photo) was deactivated and gave way to the newly opened Navegantes Airport (Photo: Itajaí Formerly, Disclosure)
It was also in the 1970s that BR-101 began to have a complete section connecting Florianópolis and Torres (SC). Until then, the highway was not continuous between SC and RS. (Photo: DER, Disclosure)
In 1973, during the administration of Colombo Salles, governments began discussing the construction of a new section of BR-470, between Gaspar and Navegantes (Photo: JSC, Archive)
Aerial view shows what Chapecó was like in the 1970s. At the time, the largest city in the West had 49 thousand inhabitants. (Photo: Digital Memory, Disclosure)
Cooperativism, already strong in SC, decides to join forces. In 1971, Ascoop became the Organization of State Cooperatives (Ocesc). In the photo, Cooper, from Blumenau. (Photo: Ocesc, Disclosure)
Santa Catarina had 197 municipalities, compared to 295 today. Cities like Correia Pinto (photo) and Otacílio Costa, separated from Lages in the 1980s, did not even exist (Photo: Regiane Machado, Personal Archive)
Criciúma was still experiencing the peak of coal extraction, which according to historians lasted until the mid-1970s. The city was one of the largest in the state, with 81 thousand inhabitants. (Photo: Disclosure)
It was in 1971, the first year of Colombo Salles, that the Santa Catarina Railway was deactivated, the only Brazilian railway built with German technology. (Photo: Historical Archive)
Itajaí, as incredible as it may seem, still did not live off fishing. It was only during the administration of Colombo Salles that the city gave impetus to industrial fishing. (Photo: Historical Archive)
The Santa Catarina Open Games were consolidated as a major state Olympics, with cities measuring forces. In that decade, Blumenau won every edition (Photo: Disclosure)
Lages was the second largest city in Santa Catarina, with 129 thousand inhabitants, even more than Joinville. Paper and cellulose companies dominated the economy in the municipality. (Photo: Disclosure)
In 1975, Colombo Salles’ last year in Government, work on the UFSC University Hospital, completed in 1980, was resumed. (Photo: Agecom, Disclosure)
This was what a summer season was like in Balneário Camboriú in the 1970s. The city was starting to become popular and had the first buildings on the seafront (Photo: Arquivo Nacional)
Balneário Camboriú was a city without skyscrapers of just 10 thousand inhabitants on the North Coast (Photo: Arquivo de Balneário Camboriú)
Zany Gonzaga was one of the presidents of Alesc (1973-1974) during the management of Colombo Salles. The others were Nelson Pedrini and Epitácio Bittencourt (Photo: SC Collection)
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Biography of Colombo Salles
Born in Laguna, Colombo Machado Salles governed Santa Catarina between 1971 and 1975. At the time, he was affiliated with the National Renewal Alliance (Arena) and was appointed to the position by the president, Emílio Médici. A civil engineer by training, Salles used to say that he was elevated to the Executive position because of his technical profile. His mission was to bring about political renewal in the State, until then commanded by oligarchies.
Who was Colombo Salles
— I was an accident in the political life of Santa Catarina — declared the former governor, in an interview with CBN radio, in 2016. — I was giving an inaugural class at the Federal University of Goiânia, when they interrupted my class to announce that I had been nominated governor. I prepared myself to hear a boo.
The management was marked by the Santa Catarina Development Project (PCD), which had as its main objective the regional integration of Santa Catarina. There were more than 500 kilometers of roads, which resulted in the modernization of the communications network and the implementation of 85 thousand telephone lines. The politician also created the Companhia Catarinense de Águas e Saneamento (Casan).
He was the cousin of Lauro Müller, the first republican governor of Santa Catarina, vice-governor, senator, federal deputy and minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also a cousin of Felipe Schmidt, governor, constituent federal deputy in 1891 and senator.
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