Former head of Portugal's military dead at 74

December 3, 2023

Portuguese citizen's were left in mourning this weekend after the former chief of staff of their country's military was found dead. 

According to TSF Rádio Notícias, the news service noted that Gen. Luís Evangelista Esteves de Araújo passed away on Saturday at the age of 74.

Araújo served as head of Portugal's armed forces from 2006 until 2011

Portugal's Armed Forces General Staff (EMGFA) put out a statement on Saturday regarding the Air Force general's passing.

"It is with a deep sense of regret that the Air Force announces the death of General Luís Evangelista Esteves de Araújo, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force," the statement began.

"Born in Porto, General Luís Araújo joined the Air Force in 1966, having assumed the highest position in the Institution between December 18, 2006 and February 7, 2011," it continued.

"On a day of mourning for the Air Force family, our thoughts are with their family, comrades and friends," the statement went on to conclude.

Air Force general remembered by military for his "reforming impetus"

Another EMGFA statement was quoted by TSF Rádio Notícias as saying that Araújo "always asserted himself through his leadership qualities."

It also praised his "reforming impetus," something which "contributed in a unique way to the development and dignification of the Armed Forces."

Araújo's record was said to "justify deep recognition and respect for his memory" and "constitute a factor of pride and cohesion for all who serve in the Portuguese Armed Forces."

It pointed out that Araújo "was distinguished with the highest decorations" throughout the course of his military career.

Araújo served as advisor to Portuguese president, was involved in African war

These included "the 2nd Class War Cross, the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ, the Naval Cross 2nd Class; the D. Afonso Henriques Medal 1st Class, the 1st Class Medal of Aeronautical Merit and the Gold Medal of Military Valor (collective)."

TSF Rádio Notícias recalled how Araújo became military advisor to Socialist Party President Jorge Sampaio after he was elected to lead Portugal in 1996.

Two years later, Araújo took command of the Joint Force for the Protection and Collection of National Citizens in Guinea-Bissau as the West African country was descending into civil war.

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