Government to exhum Primo de Rivera from valley of the dead with democratic memory law

Posted: Wednesday July 21 2021 2:09 PM

Primo de Rivera will be exhumed from the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen with the law on democratic memory that has been approved by the Council of Ministers.

The Secretary of State for Democratic Memory, Fernando Martínez, confirmed in statements to LaSexta that this will take place when this regulation is approved and comes into force. For the moment, the Council of Ministers has given the green light and in September he will have to appear at the Congress of Deputies.

“Primo de Rivera may be in the basilica, but not in a hierarchical position. As soon as this law is approved, a formula will be sought to make it so. We will try to find an agreement with the family, but I do not think that there are problems ”, indicated in this regard.

The text approved on Tuesday is the same as that prepared by the former vice-president Carmen Calvo and in which the wording of certain articles was modified after the report of the General Council of the Magistracy (CGPJ). Next, we review the main measures that the new standard incorporates:

Endurance against “the humiliation of the victims”

Any act which supposes the exaltation of the coup or the dictatorship, as well as “the humiliation of the victims”, will have more consequences than with the previous regulation, of 2007.

In this sense, the law broadens the recognition of victims and fights the persistence of Francoist exaltations in the form of public activities or the proliferation of symbols in the public space. Thus, in accordance with the regulations, “if, on the occasion of the celebration of a public act of this nature, facts which may constitute an offense are noted, they will be brought to the attention of the public prosecutor”.

Likewise, in responses to journalists, the Minister of the Presidency also argued that the law envisages a system of sanctions between 200 and 150,000 euros to sanction any contrary behavior, depending on the seriousness.

Farewell to the Francisco Franco Foundation

By virtue of this law, all foundations that do not “pursue goals of general interest” will be extinguished and the apology of Francoism or incitement to hatred against the victims of the coup, the civil war and dictatorship will be considered contrary to the general interest. . Thus, institutions like the Francisco Franco Foundation will disappear.

What will happen to the Valley of the Dead?

Once this law has been approved by the Courts, the Government will approve a decree-law which reflects the legal framework that will apply to the Valley of the Fallen and will negotiate with the Church the exit of the Benedictine congregation which continues to live there. The idea is that the enclave be redefined as a civil cemetery, protected by the national heritage.

In addition, as Bolaños announced on Tuesday, the remains of the Phalangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera will no longer be in a “prominent place” in the mausoleum. The exhumation of the high altar of the basilica will be done in communication with the family of Primo de Rivera, as specified. As for the Cross of the Valley, the Executive will decide its fate in the concrete project of resignification.

Cancellation of penalties

All the sentences of the Francoist courts will be null and void, including those dictated by the court martial, the public order court and the masonry court.

Exhumation of victims

The legislative measure will incorporate a definition of the notion of victim according to that established by the United Nations in 2006. On Tuesday, Bolaños also gave more details on the definition of “victim” according to this new law: “Basically, they are all these people who suffered reprisals or who suffered violence during the coup, the war and the dictatorship, ”he explains. Thus, this group would include people who have died, disappeared, deported, deprived of their liberty, women because of their own condition, LGTBI people and even other citizens “who have been professionally purified so as not to think like the Franco regime” , among others.

In addition, there will be a register of victims and the memorial movement is recognized. The right of victims to know the truth is also declared. The registration and census of victims will be supported by academic research and scientific studies.

The law also recognizes the right of families to recover the remains of their ancestors. There will be a prosecutor from the Chamber of Human Rights and Democratic Memory and the direction of the exhumation processes will correspond to the State, in coordination with the rest of the administrations.

According to sources ranging from the Executive to LaSexta, the new law sees exhumation as an act of moral reparation. At present, they point out, there are around 114 graves under exhumation in Spain, which this year will amount to 304, and it is estimated that there are around 20,000 or 25,000 corpses in the fallen down.

According to these sources, as soon as the law is approved, the National DNA Bank will be launched. In addition, document retention will be important and, if there were access problems – for example, due to the Official Secrets Act – these barriers would be removed.

Withdrawal of Francoist symbols and titles

The new standard also provides for the removal of symbols and elements contrary to democratic memory, as well as some thirty noble titles granted under the Franco regime and contrary to constitutional principles. There will be a catalog of these noble titles which will be deleted because they were awarded to exalt the Franco regime.

Democratic memory, in schools

With the entry into force of the new legislation, democratic memory will be included in school curricula in the field of social sciences and ethics, in secondary education, baccalaureate and vocational training.

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