Centenary of GNR SI

Centenary of GNR

The Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) is heir to a two hundred year tradition of service and allegiance to the Law and to the People, which starts in 1801 with the creation of the Guarda Real de Polícia de Lisboa (Royal Police Guard of Lisbon), whereby making Portugal one of the first countries in Europe and the world to have a military body specially dedicated to maintaining public safety and public order.

With the beginning of the Republic in 1910, the Guardas Municipais de Lisboa e do Porto (Municipal Guards of Lisbon and Porto) become extinct by decree of the Interim Government, which temporarily determines the creation of the Guardas Republicanas (Republican Guards), without any fundamental change in regard to their predecessors.

The Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) was established on 3 May 1911 to “ensure public safety, law enforcement and safeguard public and private assets across the country.” The new military corps was initially constituted by a group of squadrons - six battalions on the mainland and two infantry companies on the islands - with approximately five thousand men.

Nevertheless, the political and social turmoil, namely the great outbreak of strikes, do not let the GNR rest assured, obliging it to intervene here and there. Furthermore, the monarchist rebellions drew the attention of its leaders to the need to strengthen institutional security. Thus, in May 1919, the Government decided to reinforce the GNR, hereby reorganizing it, endowing it with artillery and increasing its workforce to nearly 19 thousand men.

In 1946, after almost 25 years of absence from the Azores, a GNR Detachment parts for the island of Terceira to ensure the policing of the Lajes Air Base. Between 1961 and 1974, a GNR unit constitutes the Rural Police of the São Tomé and Príncipe Police Corps and, in addition to the normal rural policing missions, plays an important role in supporting aircraft stopovers and humanitarian aid to numerous refugees. More recently, the history of the Guarda Nacional Republicana is marked by the creation of the Brigada de Trânsito (Traffic Brigade) in June 1970 and the Brigada Fiscal (Fiscal Brigade) in June 1993, pursuant to the extinction of the Polícia de Viação e Trânsito (Traffic and Transit Police) and the Guarda Fiscal (Fiscal Guard) respectively.

Besides its missions on national territory, the GNR has been an extension of Portugal in major armed conflicts of modern times - East Timor, Iraq, and Bosnia and Herzegovina - and in countless scenarios of natural disasters and civil emergencies.

The Guarda Nacional Republicana is currently a security force with a general police mission, composed of approximately 25 thousand military elements with remits and powers to act across the country, assuming direct responsibility for ensuring public security, peace and tranquility in approximately 95% of the national territory, serving more than 60% of the resident population and accompanying large seasonal movements of people and national events.

With this philatelic issue, the CTT (Portuguese Postal Service) associates itself to the celebration of the centenary of the Guarda Nacional Republicana, thus acknowledging the cultural tradition that the existence and performance of its military elements have represented for the history of Portugal.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 21.04.2011
Designer: Atelier Acacio Santos / Helder Soares
Printer: Joh. Enschede
Process: Offset lithography
Colours: 4-colour offset
Values: EUR 0.32, EUR3.60, EUR 0.96, EUR 5.18
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