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Plínio Salgado

Plínio Salgado (1895 - 1975) was the founder and leader of the 1930s Brazilian fascist movement known as "Integralism".

Plínio Salgado

Salgado, a minor literary figure, adapted Fascist and Nazi symbolism and salutes and wore a square mustache like Hitler. His movement had all the outlandish superficial trappings of European fascism. With a green-shirted paramilitary organization with uniformed ranks, highly regimented street demonstrations, and aggressive rhetoric directly financed in part by the Italian embassy, the Integralists borrowed their propaganda campaigns directly from Nazi materials —including the usual traditionalist excoriations of Marxism, liberalism, and Jews and espousals of fanatical nationalism (out of context in heterogeneous and tolerant Brazil) and “Christian virtues”.

His movement drew its support from lower middle class Italian and German immigrants (who numbered in the millions), lower middle class Brazilians, and military officers, especially in the navy.

Brazilian President Getulio Vargas turned to Integralism, the only mobilized base of support on the right, which was elated his atrocious, fascist-style crackdown against the Brazilian left. In 1934, Salgado's movement targeted the Communist movement under Luiz Carlos Prestes, mobilizing a conservative mass support base engaging in street brawls and urban terrorism.

When Vargas established full dictatorial powers under the Estado Novo in 1937, he crushed the movement. Though the Integralists favored Vargas' hard right turn, Salgado was overly ambitious, with overt presidential aspirations that threatened Vargas' grip on power.

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