Congress urged to apologise over Franco-era abuses

Remains of Franco-era victims in Malaga's San Rafael cemetery, second-largest mass grave in Europe. Photo: El Plural
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• Historical Memory activists seek official censure of 1936 military uprising
• ARMH calls for apology, national day commemorating Franco-era victims

Spain’s national Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica, ARMH (‘Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory‘) has called on Spain’s Congress to finally issue an explicit and unequivocal condemnation of the July 1936 military rebellion against the democratically elected Republican government that sparked the bloody Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, as well as recognition of the hundreds of thousands of victims of atrocities committed by forces loyal to Gen. Francisco Franco during the war and 35-year dictatorship that followed.

Following the swearing-in last week of Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) for a second-term as Spain’s prime minister, the ARMH on Friday sent a letter addressed to Congress President Ana Pastor citing the upcoming Nov. 20th anniversary of the death of Franco in 1975 and calling for the new Congress to make a democratic gesture toward the victims of Franquista repression by issuing an official apology and establishing a national day of commemoration in their honor, or Día de las Víctimas de la Dictadura Franquista.

As part of the recognition of the truth about Spain’s Civil War and the Franco dictatorship that the organisation said is contemplated within Spain’s national Law of Historical Memory passed in 2007, the letter from the ARMH called on Congress to especially recognise the damage done to women, gays and lesbians and ministers of religions other than Catholicism, who were persecuted under the Franco regime. The organisation also called for a thorough revision of textbooks used in schools nationwide in which the facts concerning the 1936 military rebellion and the extent of the repression during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco-era continue to be censored.

► Read More in Spanish at El Plural, La Vanguardia and El Boletín …

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