Located in the village of Chão Bom, the Campo de Concentração do Tarrafal was built in 1936, based on decree nº 26:539 dated April 23. The penal colony received its first prisoners on October 29 of the same year, having operated until 1956. In 1962 it was reopened with the name “Campo de Trabalho de Chão Bom”, (labour camp) which was destined to incarcerate the anti-colonialists of Angola, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde. In total, more than 500 people were arrested, 340 of them anti-fascists and 230 anti-colonialists.
Survival conditions in the Campo de Concentração were harsh and inhumane. The mistreatment, isolation and humiliation to which the prisoners were subjected led many to death or left psychological and physical sequelae. In addition to forced labour, recurrent tortures such as the frigideira, the statue, sleep torture, beatings, were inhumane practices within a whole panoply of ill-treatment.ler mais
In this context, campo de Concentração do Tarrafal is engraved in the imagination of the Portuguese, Angolans, Guineans and Cabo Verdeans as the "campo da morte lenta" (slow death camp) or "death camp". During more than thirty years of operation, it was used to commit the most heinous crimes, leaving irreversible physical and psychological scars on those who dared to oppose the prevailing political and social order of the Estado Novo (New State), Salazarism.
Due to its history and memory, the Campo de Concentração do Tarrafal was inscribed on Cabo Verde's indicative list for UNESCO by criteria III and VI.
The O Campo de Concentração do Tarrafal preserves its original features and is in a good state of conservation. After its deactivation, the complex operated as a military training center and since 2000 has housed the Museu de Resistência (Resistance Museum).
The “campo da morte lenta” was classified as National Cultural Heritage by Resolution nº 33/2006, of August 14. In order to ensure its administration and management, the Curatorship of Campo de Concentração de Chão Bom, Tarrafal, was created through Resolution nº 64/2014, of August 12.
Due to its structural, historical, functional and symbolic elements, this “Campo de Concentração” is similar to other homonymous spaces built during the period of totalitarian regimes that proliferated across Europe (1933-1945), the most symptomatic being Auschwitz and Dauchau.
O Campo de Concentração, due to its above mentioned characteristics, fits in with Robben Island (South Africa), inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.ler menos