Court action threatened over removal of Quiepo remains

Protesters outside Sevilla's Macarena cathedral demand removal of remains of Gen. Quiepo de Llano. Photo: Público
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An umbrella organization representing groups focused on the historical memory of events occurring in Andalucia during Spain’s civil war say they will file a lawsuit against the Andalucian regional government if the remains of the infamous Nationalist Gen. Gonzalo Quiepo de Llano are not removed from La Macarena Basilica in Sevilla within the next two months.

Quiepo de Llano, dubbed the “Butcher of Sevilla” for the summary executions of thousands of civilians by paramilitaries and troops under his command in the first months of Spain’s bloody 1936-39 Civil War, was buried with military honours in the Macarena cathedral after his death in 1951. His remains lay in a crypt alongside those of his wife in a side chapel of the basilica that is open to public view.

In 2017, Andalucia’s Socialist party led regional parliament passed an ‘Historical Memory’ law that makes it illegal in Andalucia to glorify the heroes of the Franco-era with place names or monuments of a public character, whether or not they exist on public or private property.

► News Sources: Público, Europa Press and El Diario …

That law followed a longstanding campaign in Sevilla to have Quiepo de Llano’s remains removed, culminating in a July 2016 resolution by the Socialist-led Sevilla municipal council calling for their removal because their continued presence in the basilica “constitute a clear offense for the relatives of the victims of Franco and for (all) Democrats”.

Since the change in government following December 2018 regional elections, however, the new government led by regional President Juan Manuel Moreno of the conservative Partido Popular has been accused of foot-dragging in implementing the Historical Memory law, which is flatly opposed by far-right VOX party, an ally of the PP in governing Andalucia.

Now, the organization Andalucia Republicana says they will take the government to court to force compliance with the Historical Memory Law and one of the first things they want to see is the removal of Franco-era general Quiepo de Llano’s remains from the Macarena.

In addition to the PP-led regional government, also standing in the way of the removal of Quiepo’s remains is the powerful Hermandad de la Macarena, a Catholic confraternity organization that admnisters the Macarena basilica. Claiming that the regulations governing the Historical Memory law are unclear, the Hermandad says it will not allow the removal of Quiepo’s remains until they receive further clarification of their obligations under the law from the government or a court order.

► Click to read more news about Historical Memory in Spain …

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