Neira Laporte

BIGORRA, Josefa (age 30)
NEIRA BIGORRA, Antonia (age 2)
NEIRA BIGORRA, Eduardo (age 3)
NEIRA LAPORTE, Dr. Eduardo (Visa # 351 – age 39)

The above visa was issued by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux on March 1, 1940. Granting a visa to Dr. Eduardo NEIRA LAPORTE and his family was the second known and recorded act of disobedience by Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

Early in February 1940, the Spanish doctor Eduardo NEIRA LAPORTE visited Sousa Mendes at the consulate to request visas for himself and his family. NEIRA LAPORTE, a Spanish Republican doctor and commander in the Spanish Republican army, as well as his family, had been allowed by the government of Bolivia to migrate there, but to reach Bolivia they would have to embark from Lisbon.

Sousa Mendes wrote to the ministry for authorization to concede the needed transit visa. For weeks, he didn’t receive any reply and facing the imminent departure of the ship NEIRA LAPORTE would have to take from France to Lisbon, he decided to sign the visas.

On March 11, Sousa Mendes at last received an answer from the Foreign Ministry denying the visa request for the family. By then, the NEIRA LAPORTE family had reached Lisbon and they were allowed to disembark from the ship carrying them from France and embark on the vessel to Bolivia. NEIRA LAPORTE and his family lived in Bolivia until 1946 and eventually moved to Mexico.

Sousa Mendes was issued a formal reprimand for conceding the visa.