Constantino Reis:
Athlete, MNR Deserter

Dossier no.MZ-0532


Constantino Reis was a nationally-known Mozambican athlete who competed for his country in such events as the 1979 Moscow Youth Spartakiad and the 1980 Olympics. However, while a student of chemical engineering at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, he became involved in a clandestine anti-Frelimo student group (the Aquarius Rebels), and in September 1982 he fled to Swaziland. There he fell into the clutches of the MNR, and ended up broadcasting for Radio Quizumba.

By July 1984 he had had enough, and he defected back to the government side, handing himself over to a military garrison in Sena after an eight-day walk through the bush. In interviews at the end of 1984 he revealed telling details of the internal affairs of the MNR.

This dossier includes a lengthy interview published in the weekly Domingo and an eight-page account in English that appeared as a supplement to the AIM Bulletin. Reis’s testimony about such matters as Renamo’s preference for the Ndau language, and its involvement in the large-scale smuggling of ivory, gems and animal skins has been cited by such diverse scholars as Tom Young, Hans Abrahamsson and Anders Nilsson, and David Robinson.

MHN Resources

2 September 1979
Amândio Guerreiro. Espartaquíadas-79: atletas moçambicanos em Moscovo. Tempo [Maputo], no.464 (2 September 1979), p.33-37. This story features Reis as a successful athlete competing in a major Soviet youth competition. Click here to download or view a PDF file, size 2.5 Mb.

December 1984
The MNR from within: an interview with a defector. AIM Bulletin [Maputo], supplement, 8 pages. Click here to download or view a PDF file, size 2.7 Mb.

9 December 1984
Alves Gomes. Desertor dos BA’s revela ligações internacionais do banditismo armado. Tempo [Maputo] no.739 (9 December 1984), p.9-11. Click here to download or view a PDF file, size 562 kb.

Reis after defecting from Renamo

16 December 1984
Entrevista de Constantino Reis à AIM: o banditismo visto de dentro. Domingo [Maputo] (16 December 1984), p.8-10. Click here to download or view a PDF file, size 1.2 Mb.

22 January 1985
Nelson Malangabi. Haverá sinceridade? Notícias [Maputo] (22 January 1985). Click here to download or view a PDF file, size 228 kb.


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