• Researchers file requests with 30 gov’t agencies and foreign embassies •
Prominent Historic Memory activist attorney Eduardo Ranz and journalist José María Calleja filed unprecedented freedom of information requests last week with more than 30 Spanish government and church agencies asking that the public and researchers be granted unfettered access to any archival material related to the activities of the Spanish military, Spain’s Falange movement and the Fundación Francisco Franco, during Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War and the subsequent the 36-year dictatorship that ended with Franco’s death in 1975.
Similar requests for unrestricted access to any files that could clarify the disappearances and extrajudicial executions of thousands of victims of the Franco regime were made by Ranz and Calleja to Spain’s Civil Guard, the National Police and to the governments of Mexico, Argentina, Russia and Cuba, which the researchers said may hold pertinent archival material from the Spanish Civil War and exodus of Spanish refugees following the Civil War victory of Nationalist forces loyal to Franco in 1939.
The most recent requests are part of a push by teams of researchers and forensic experts hoping to use Spain’s 2007 Historic Memory legislation, passed under the Socialist administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, to gain access to archival material previously sealed under the Amnesty Law of 1977. In their filing last week, Ranz and Calleja said the information is necessary to clarify the truth for family members of victims and to help researchers and forensic teams to find and exhume unmarked gravesites throughout Spain.