|José Pacheco Pereira
Teacher, historian and politologist
José Álvaro Machado Pacheco Pereira was born in Porto on 6 January 1949, in Bonfim parish. He was the son of Álvaro Gonçalo de Lima Pacheco Pereira and Maria Celina Machado, and the brother of Maria Beatriz Machado Pacheco Pereira Dorminsky de Carvalho, Fanstasporto (1981) together her husband Mário Dorminsky.
Pacheco Pereira was intellectually influenced by his friend Eugénio de Andrade from the age of sixteen, who introduced him to classical literature and poetry, namely of writers such as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Marguerite Yourcenar and Rainer Maria Rilke.
As a young man, he became involved in politics against the fascist regime in a period of strong student protest movements that reached their climax in May 1968, in France.
At the end of the 1960's, he was admitted to the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, and then changed to the Philosophy Course at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto. in the academic year 1968/1969. In 1971, he completed his bachelor degree with the final mark of 14 out of 20. In the same year, he translated A prática – De onde vêm as ideias justas (The practice – Where do correct ideas come from), dby Mao Tse-Tung, together with Maria Helena Parreiro, and Cartas sobre o materialismo histórico (Letters on Historical Materialism) by Friedrich Engels.
Being politically close to Maoism, he founded the PCP (M-L) political party in the north of Portugal. After the raid led by PIDE [secret police] to his house in 1973, he began to live in a semi-clandestine way until 11 March 1975, because, despite the 25 April 1974 Revolution, the party was still illegal. After it was legalized, he abandoned the Communist Party and, soon after, Marxism-Leninism. He returned to the faculty to complete his course in 1978, with the final mark of 14 out of 20.
Between 1980 and 1987, he held the position of Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE). In 1983, he launched the journal Estudos sobre o comunismo: Boletim de estudos interdisciplinares sobre o comunismo e os movimentos comunistas. and in 1984, with João Carlos Espada and Manuel Villaverde Cabral, he founded the Liberal Left Club.
In 1986, he resumed his political activity when Mário Soares ran for presidency. Pacheco Pereira was even part of the Honorary Committee of MASP. In 1987, he was elected independent Member of Parliament for PSD, a party which he joined formally in 1988. He held functions for three mandates in Parliament, and even led the PSD Parliamentary Group, a post which he later resigned as he fell out with the Secretary-General, Fernando Nogueira. He was the PSD President for the Lisbon District, a post he left and later applied again as a candidate, but was defeated by his opponent, Duarte Lima. He was a member of the Parliament delegation near NATO and the President of the Sub-Committee of Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR, and of the Political Commission of the North Atlantic Assembly. He was also the Vice-President of the Luso-Arab Institute for Cooperation.
In the 1995 legislative elections, he headed the list of candidates for the Aveiro constituency, facing strong opponents such as the Central Democratic - Popular Party candidate Paulo Portas, and the Socialist Carlos Candal. In 1999, at the invitation of Durão Barroso, he headed the Social Democratic Party in the elections for the European Parliament. In 2002, he was once again the head of his party’s list in the legislative elections, but this time for the Porto constituency; however, because he was already an European Parliament member, he did not assume the position in the national parliament for which he had been elected. He was the Vice-President of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2004.
In 2004, he was appointed Ambassador of Portugal to UNESCO, but one month later he resigned when he heard that Santana Lopes was to replace Durão Barroso as Prime-Minister.
Besides his early political life, he also dedicated himself to writing and critique. He cooperates on a regular basis with several newspapers and magazines, such as Público and Sábado, and has already published chronicles and opinion articles in Jornal de Notícias, Semanário, Comércio do Porto and Diário de Lisboa. He is also a television political commentator in Quadratura do Círculo, in SIC Notícias network, which followed the radio programme Flashback of TSF radio. He is a radio commentator for Rádio Clube Português.
He regularly gives conferences and has written several books, among which the biography of Álvaro Cunhal. He coordinates and prefaces books on Politics, Sociology and History, and has two blogs (Abrupto and Estudos sobre o Comunismo). He taught at Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, currently teaches at the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE), is a member of several scientific societies and writes for with scientific journals.
He has a large private collection of books in his house in Marmeleira, with thousands of books, where he keeps information on the Marxist-Leninist and radical political movements published until late 1970s.
On 10 June 2005, he received the Grand-Cross of the Order of Liberty, an award granted by the President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2008)