José Ibrahim, a labor leader who was arrested for challenging Brazil’s military dictatorship in 1968 and who was the only labor leader to be released in 1969 in exchange for the US ambassador, has passed away at the age of 66. Though famous as one of “the fifteen” who made the list of political prisoners to be released in 1969, Ibrahim did not rest on becoming an iconic, if unwilling, figure. He continued to be an activist for workers’ rights after he returned to Brazil in 1979. His death is a loss for historians and rights activists alike, for with him, the labor, academic, and rights community lose another person who provided so much insight into the dictatorship from the oft-overlooked workers’ perspective. Que se descanse em paz.
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