Family members of those forcibly missing or killed during Franco’s dictatorship marched in Madrid Sunday to demand “truth, justice and reparations,” 40 years after his death.
Across the Spanish capital, more than 1,000 people marched to Congress calling for an end to an amnesty law that blocks any investigation and prosecution of crimes committed during the civil war from 1936-39 and the subsequent Franco dictatorship.
It is estimated that about 500,000 people were killed during the civil war while around 50,000 Republicans were executed by Nationalist forces under Franco.
“Open pits, open wounds,” the crowd decried in a march where mostly elderly people could be seen holding placards bearing the name of a parent who was a victim of the Franco regime as well as demands for “truth, justice and reparations.”
"A country that fails to reconcile with its own past will never have an easy conscience. Never," said protester Manuel Nunez, 79, who marched in memory of his father "imprisoned and gunned down on Christmas Day 1937, with 200 other Republicans."
A man shows a photo next to a banner reading “Franco genocide: murdered age 27.” | Photo: EFE
The march was organized by 70 organizations under the mantra, “there will be no democracy without memory.”
"Spain was subjected to a process of amnesia as a result of the transition. Politicians who negotiated the transition to democracy made a big mistake: to impose forgetting. To forget means leaving open wounds. But for who? The victims of Francoism, because the dictatorship had already honored its own deaths throughout the regime, while omitting those of others. That is to keep a problem open," the Catalan historian Borja de Riquer told news agency El Colombiano.
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