Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents



Following the end of the long authoritarian regime in Portugal in April 1974, the system of internal security was reorganized. The Public Security Police (Polícia de Segurança Pública--PSP) and the National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana--GNR), viewed as having been active supporters of the regime, were put temporarily under military command. As of 1990, internal security was the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Administration (formerly the Ministry of Interior). The forces of security were controlled by, and fully responsible to, the government.

The revolutionary turmoil of 1974 to 1976 imposed a severe challenge on the maintenance of law and order. In addition to occasional violence by leftist and rightist groups, the emergence of separatist activity in the Azores and Madeira posed threats to the territorial integrity of Portugal. After constitutional government was established in 1976, political violence abated. Between 1980 and 1986, however, an ultra left-wing terrorist group, Popular Forces of the 25th of April (Forças Populares do 25 Abril--FP-25), its name referring to the coup d'etat of April 25, 1974, conducted a campaign of bombing, assassinations, and bank robberies (see Terrorist Groups , this ch.).

Data as of January 1993