Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Thursday, 6 july 2017 | ARA

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63,961 innocent victims of the Franco regime

In the last four decades, Spain has failed to erase the totalitarian stain on its past




ARA


EDITORIAL
 
01-07-2017.-
 
 
Yesterday, the Parliament of Catalonia unanimously voted to declare as null and void the 63,961 courts-martial held in Catalonia under the Franco dictatorship. These trials, entirely devoid of legal safeguards, exercised a notorious form of repression against all those who had remained loyal to the republic’s democratic legitimacy: paradoxically, cynically, they were tried for the crime of not having joined the military coup. After forty years of democracy, Catalonia’s law on legal redress for victims is unique in Spain, where the memory of those who experienced at first hand the brutality of the Franco regime has been systematically ignored, down-played and forgotten.
 
Since the mid-1980s, many families of those who stood trial have unsuccessfully taken the matter to court (both the Supreme and the Constitutional) to try to have their sentences overturned. Even in 2007, with the introduction of Spain’s Historical Memory Law, there was insufficient political support in Madrid’s Congress to achieve what the Catalan Parliament has now accomplished. The fact that the law was passed unanimously is significant. Although they may not be fully aware of the fact, the Partido Popular’s vote in favour of the law breaks with the Spanish right’s revisionist and relativist tradition with regard to General Franco’s criminal regime. This must be welcomed alongside those who have always worked to restore the dignity of the losers of war and for such an unconditional condemnation of the dictatorship.
 
The preamble to the law is clear: "In regard to the victims and their relatives, a rule with a legal status is required to declare as null and void all of these proceedings, which can be described as a travesty of justice, together with the sanctions and rulings that resulted in such dire consequences". Yesterday's achievement in Parliament stands in stark contrast with the event held the day before in Madrid’s Congress, in memory of the fortieth anniversary of the first free elections following General Franco’s death. The event heaped uncritical praise on a Transition that managed to whitewash the Franco regime and consign the Republic to oblivion. In the last four decades, Spain has failed to erase the totalitarian stain on its past, a burden that continues to weigh on its political reality and which prevents it from accepting itself as it is, in all its ideological and national plurality. Its refusal to enter into a dialogue with Catalonia is a further example of this.

 


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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia