Brazilian Man Spends 28 Years of His Life Legally Dead

A 71-year-old man from Brazil’s Tocantins region was pronounced dead in 1995, based on the testimony of his ex-wife and two witnesses. He spent the next 28 years of his life legally dead…

On August 16, Manoel Marciano da Silva finally had his death certificate annulled after a two-year-long court battle. To the Brazilian authorities, he had been dead and buried in the public cemetery of Augustinópolis, in Tocantins, for 28 years, but this only became a problem for the man himself about two years ago, when he couldn’t collect his pension and couldn’t get access to free healthcare, based on his insurance. That’s when he started investigating his ‘death’ and learned that it had been his ex-wife and two witnesses who had declared him dead to authorities.

Photo: TV Anhanguera

It’s unclear why Manoel’s ex-wife declared him dead back in 1995, but he claims he only found out about it in 2012, when he tried to vote in a local election only to be told that he was not on the list and that he appeared as deceased. At the time, he didn’t really care too much about it, but in recent years, his deceased status started affecting his life more significantly.

Manoel Marciano da Silva lost his pension and was unable to make medical appointments, among other setbacks, but resurrecting, even if only on paper, was much tougher than he had ever imagined. In the end, the septuagenarian needed to hire a lawyer to contest the death certificate and obtain a brand new birth certificate.

Photo: TV Anhanguera

A papilloscopic test of his fingerprints helped prove that he was alive, but he also needed several witnesses to confirm that he wasn’t actually dead. In the end, he managed to ‘come back to life’, but the mystery of his death still lingers. Manoel’s children believe that their mother, who is illiterate, was misled into declaring him dead, but Manoel himself doesn’t really care why it happened. All he cares is that he is back among the living.

Interestingly, Manoel’s case is far from unique. In the past, we wrote about India’s ‘living dead’, a man who spent 18 years proving he is alive, an exasperated woman who asked to have her remains tested to prove she is alive, and a woman who fought the Government after it declared her dead.

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