For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Francisco Mendes.

Francisco Mendes

Francisco Mendes
Chico Mendes at his wedding party in Ziguinchor, Senegal (1973)
1st Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau
In office
September 24, 1973 – July 7, 1978
PresidentLuís Cabral
Succeeded byConstantino Teixeira
Personal details
Born(1939-02-07)7 February 1939
Enxude, Portuguese Guinea
(present-day Guinea-Bissau)
Died7 July 1978(1978-07-07) (aged 39)
Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
Political partyAfrican Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde
OccupationPolitician
Chico Mendes' marriage party in Ziguinchor, Senegal with Luís Cabral to the right of the cake, 1973

Francisco Mendes, nom de guerre Chico Té (February 7, 1939 – July 7, 1978), was a Bissau-Guinean politician. He was the country's first Prime Minister and held that position from September 24, 1973, until his fatal car accident under suspicious circumstances on July 7, 1978.

Early career

Mendes was born in Enxude, Guinea-Bissau. In the early 1960s, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) launched an armed struggle against Portuguese imperialism which would last more than a decade. Mendes was one of the few Guinea-Bissau students in secondary education when he abandoned school to join the PAIGC. He rose through the ranks in the 1960s, becoming a political commissar of the Bafatá area in 1962. In the years 1963–1964 he held the same function on the Northern Front. He entered the Political Bureau in 1964 and he became a member of PAIGC's Council of War in 1965. In 1967 he was appointed delegate of the Council for the Northern Front.[1][2]

Prime minister

After negotiations between Portugal and PAIGC in early 1974, Portugal granted independence to Guinea-Bissau despite PAIGC having declared unilateral independence nearly a year prior. The PAIGC-led government was headed by Luís Cabral, half-brother of the PAIGC co-founder Amílcar Cabral whose assassination in Conakry on January 20, 1973, remains a mystery. Francisco Mendes was elected the country's first Prime Minister as Comissário Principal and in this role in the newly UN-member, Francisco Mendes was responsible for a series of socialism-inspired development programs, and a four-year drive toward national reconciliation. Mendes' signature graced the first four banknotes (10, 50, 100 and 500 peso) issued in 1976 in Guinea-Bissau.[2]

Although the causes behind his death on July 7, 1978, are still disputed, it is mostly accepted that PAIGC was involved in it. A widely accepted theory – though unverifiable as of 2006 – is that dissent among PAIGC leadership may have led to his assassination.[citation needed]

Honours

As an African nationalist and a national figure in the struggle for independence, Francisco Mendes has been honoured both in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. In addition to his face being featured on 500 Pesos Guineense (second (1983) and third (1990) issues),[2] many schools and streets bearing his name can be seen throughout Guinea-Bissau, and Francisco Mendes International Airport in Praia, Cape Verde was named in his honour.

Chico Mendes and Luís Cabral's wife at Mendes' marriage in Ziguinchor, Senegal, 1973, detail

Personal life

He married in 1973 in Ziguinchor, Senegal and left two sons and two daughters behind.

References

  1. ^ https://escolatchicote.wixsite.com/tchicote/fransisco-mendes-tchico-te%7C Archived 2023-06-16 at the Wayback Machine Chico Té
  2. ^ a b c Symes, Peter. "The Banknotes of Guinea-Bissau". Retrieved 20 July 2016.


{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Francisco Mendes
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install
{{::$root.activation.text}}

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!


Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.

X

Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?