Five decades after the death of General Franco and three years after the remains of the Spanish dictator were finally removed from his imposing mausoleum outside Madridthe country’s senate approved legislation designed to bring “justice, reparation and dignity” to victims of the civil war and subsequent dictatorship.
On Wednesday afternoon, the upper house of the Spanish parliament passed the law on the democratic memory of the government led by the socialists, with 128 votes in favor, 113 against and 18 abstentions.
The legislation, which was approved by Spain’s congress in July, contains dozens of measures intended to help “settle Spain’s democracy’s debt to its past”.
Among them, the creation of a census and a national DNA bank to help locate and identify the remains of the tens of thousands of people who still rest in unmarked graves, the banning of groups that glorify the Franco regime and a ‘re-definition’ of the Valley of the Fallen, the giant basilica and memorial where Franco rested for 44 years until his death. exhumation in 2019.
According to the Prime Minister’s Government Pedro Sanchezthe legislation will contribute to “encouraging a common discussion based on the defense of peace, on pluralism and on the expansion of human rights and constitutional freedoms”.
In a tweet after the voteSánchez said: “We socialists have always worked to strengthen our democracy and today we have taken another step towards justice, reparation and dignity for all victims.
The new law is based on Historical Memory Act 2007 introduced under another socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which was resisted by Spain’s conservative People’s Party (PP). Many on the Spanish right have opposed legislative efforts to revisit the past, saying they risk undermining the 1977 amnesty law and the so-called oblivion pact who helped bring Spain back to democracy after Franco’s death.
The PP, which is now led by Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, has said it will repeal the law if it wins next year’s general election. Former party leader Pablo Casado said the law would only serve to ‘take away grudges’, while the PP’s Mariano Rajoy – who served as prime minister from 2011 to 2018 – boasted that he had cut Spain’s history. zero memory budget after his administration inherited the 2007 law.
Others, however, argue that the new law does not go far enough. The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARHM), a human rights group that has spent two decades exhuming mass graves and campaigning for justice for Franco’s victims, declares the law 1977 amnesty should be repealed and financial changes should be made to those whose goods and properties were seized by the Franco regime.
The ARHM also demanded that a census be made of all those who benefited economically from Francoism, and that the Roman Catholic Church be investigated and held responsible for supporting the coup. of 1936 which brought Franco to power and to have supported the dictatorship which followed.
Manage Cookie Consent
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.