Roche Braziliano, which in English language translates to “Rock the Brazilian”, was a fearful and famous Dutch pirate plying the Caribbean route. He earned different nicknames and was sometimes referred to either as Rock, Roch, Roc, Roque, Brazilliano, or just Brasiliano. He was born and raised in the town of Groningen, The Netherlands and soon after moved to Dutch settlements living in exile in Brazil. His pirating career started as early as 1654 until his disappearance in the year 1671. He was first eternalized and mentioned in the book titled “The Buccaneers of America”, which was written by the famous Alexandre Exquemelin in 1678. Exquemelin did not have knowledge about Braziliano’s actual name but historians have reasons to believe that the name Gerrit Gerritszoon was probably the same person referred to Roche Braziliano.
Roche Braziliano has a dark history and was widely known as the cruel buccaneer who operated out of Port Royal, Jamaica. He was also a privateer back in Bahia, Brazil, before moving to Port Royal in 1654. During his career, Braziliano basically adopted the life of a buccaneer and was involved in various pirating activities and even led a mutiny. During his first adventure, he was successful in his attempt to capture a ship with immense value and managed to bring it back to Jamaica. Eventually he was caught, and sent to Spain. He was able to escape not to long after being caught. Not long after his return, he once again resumed his pirating career and got himself a new ship from his fellow pirate friend, François l’Olonnais by paying for it. His famous escapades include sailing with the well-known Sir Henry Morgan.
According to those close to him, among Roche Braziliano’s cruel and inhumanely acts include an incident whereby he once burned alive two Spanish farmers on wooden spits after they refused to hand over their livestock. If that was not enough, he even tortured his captured Spanish prisoners by cutting off their limbs and roasting them alive over the fire. Some of his worst and despicable acts include threatening to shoot anyone who did not drink with him.