Tiradentes (tērəħĕnˈtəs) [key], 1748–92, Brazilian patriot. His real name was José Joaquim da Silva Xavier. He gained his nickname, which means "tooth-puller," working as a healer in his youth. He later became an army officer. In the late 1780s he joined and soon became the leader of the Inconfidência Mineira, a movement against Portuguese rule and for revolutionary democracy in Brazil that was inspired by the American Revolution and was based in Vila Rica (now Ouro Prêto). In 1789 the movement was betrayed and its leaders were imprisoned. They were freed and exiled in 1792 with the exception of Tiradentes, who was executed in Rio de Janeiro.
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