Spain’s Franco to be exhumed
September 13, 2018 -- The Spanish parliament votes on a law aimed at legally protecting the Socialist government's plans to move the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco out of a giant memorial “The Valley of the Fallen” outside of Madrid.
The move by prime minister Pedro Sánchez will fulfil a long-held ambition of the Spanish left to transform the monument into a place to remember the civil war rather than glorify the dictatorship.
General Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist from the end of the 1936-39 civil war until his death in 1975, when he was buried inside a basilica drilled into a granite mountain 50km north of Madrid.
Built between 1941 and 1959 to commemorate all victims of civil war, the Valley of the Fallen is the resting place of more than 30,000 soldiers from both sides of the conflict.
But it is loathed by many as monument to triumph of fascism – Republican prisoners were forced to help build it.
The government also aims to establish a “truth commission” and identify the 114,000 victims of the 1936-39 civil war and Franco’s dictatorship.
The Franco era still haunts Spain. In an effort to ease the transition to democracy in 1977 after the dictator’s death, the country passed an amnesty law pardoning political crimes committed during the conflict and the dictatorship in an accord known as the “Pact of Forgetting”.
Spain has the world’s second largest number of mass graves after Cambodia.
- Spain's new government to remove General Franco's remains from mausoleum (The Telegraph)
- Spain launches truth commission to probe Franco-era crimes (The Guardian)
- Spain paves way to remove Franco remains from mausoleum (BBC)
- Más de 33.800 personas enterradas en el Valle de los Caídos (El País)
- Patrimonio Nacional