Born in Maputo (Lourenço Marques) in Mozambique in I936. Father was a civil servant and mother a railway clerk. Secondary education at state school in Maputo. Entered the Military Academy in Lisbon at the age of nineteen. On active service in Angola from 1961 until 1963 as a sub-lieutenant. Then on active service again in Angola, as a captain from 1965 until 1967. Posted to Guinea-Bissau in 1970 as a captain under General Spinola. In charge of civilian affairs and propaganda. During this period became involved in the protest against the Congress of Combatants. In 1973 returned to Portugal and helped set up the Movement of Captains. Planned and commanded military take-over on 25 April I974. In July I974, was temporarily promoted to brigadier and became the commander of the Lisbon military region and the head of COPCON. In May 1975, temporarily promoted to general. Following the 25 November coup, demoted to major at his own request. Two months later, was arrested on charges of abuse of power, whilst in charge of COPCON. Released after forty-four days in prison. During 1976 was a presidential candidate. In October I976 was again arrested. After twenty days in jail, was released and suspended from duty. In 1979 was put into the army reserves. In 1982. recalled to the army, since it was shown that his discharge had been politically motivated. In June I984 was arrested for his alleged leadership of a terrorist organisation (FP25, Forces of 25 April). Realese in 1989, he is still waiting, in conditional freedom, for a final decision of the court.