Day of the Fallen or Martyrs' Day in Sao Tome and Principe
Day of the Fallen or Martyrs' Day in Sao Tome and Principe is held on February 3. Commemorates the Batepá massacre of 1953. This event in the first decade of the month February is annual. Help us
The Batepá massacre occurred on 3 February 1953 in São Tomé when hundreds of native creoles known as forros were massacred by the colonial administration and Portuguese landowners.
Many forros believed the government intended to force them to work as contract laborers, to which they objected. In response, the governor blamed the unrest on communists and ordered the military to round up such individuals and for civilians to protect themselves. This quickly turned into a bloodbath, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of forros.
The Batepá massacre marked the rise of the independence movement in Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, and is commemorated annually as a national holiday (Dia de Mártires da Liberdade) on February 3.