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“The Government’s Declaration on Enforce Disappearances is an intolerable provocation to the victims of Francoism

Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria, | 29 agosto 2012

In Response to the Government’s declaration to mark the International Day of VIctims of Enforced Disappearances


The Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria (National Federation of Forum for the Recuperation of Historical Memory) has expressed astonishment and indignation at the ‘Government’s declaration to mark the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances’, that was passed by the Cabinet on Friday 24 August 2012 (1).

“Such public statement in support of the victims of enforced disappearances is the height of cynicism and shamelessness, plus an intolerable provocation to the victims of Francoism”, José Mª Pedreño, the President of the Federación, has denounced.

The organization has reminded the authorities thatSpainis still the second country in the world (afterCambodia) in number of mass graves containing victims of enforced disappearances of victims of extrajudicial executions, crimes thatstill remain unpunished.

The Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria has long denounced the impunity of Franco’s regimen and demanded theSpanishStateto fulfill its legal obligation to guarantee truth, justice and reparations for the victims, a group that includes hundreds of thousands of people.

“Not a single of the governments in democracy has taken decisive steps to end impunity of Francoism, let alone the latter Popular Party government that has now surprised us with a generic statement in support of victims of enforced disappearances . The victims inSpainhave endured all sort of humiliation, and this statement is just the ultimate mockery that we witness “, Pedreño has expressed.

For the Federation, the governmen’s public statement contrasts with its manifest unwillingness to investigate enforced disappearances in Spain, and highlights once again the disregard with which the Spanish State treats a particular category of victims of human rights violations: those men and women who fought for the republican democratic legality during the civil war, and in general, all the victims of the dictatorship and the transition to democracy.


Francoism and the Spanish model of impunity.

The extensive historical research on Francoist repression, carried out in recent decades on the basis of a wealth of documentary evidence, shows without any shadow of doubt, the real nature of the crimes of Francoism: aforethought, premeditated and hierarchically organized. And those are three characteristics that allow for those crimes to be classified as crimes against humanity; crimes that, according to International Penal Law,  are imprescriptible.

International law obliges theSpanishStateto investigate the crimes of Francoism; obligation that each and every governments in democracy has failed to fulfill.

International human rights organizations have repeateadly dennounced the Spanish model of impunity that has denied justice to the victims of the civil war and dictatorship, and has protected the perpetrators. Beyond the serious legal implications, the consequences of impunity have had an impact on the political, social and economic sphere inSpain, as it has been denounced by the Federation and other organizations working for the recuperation of the democratic memory inSpain.

But this in itself is not the most serious and exceptional charge that Spanish democracy can be accussed of, as opposed to democracies in other countries of the world. The bottom line is that the Spanish model of impunity does not even recognise the victims of Francoism as victims, and even denies their access to justice through the so called Law of Historical Memory of 2007.

The Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria has publicly stated its intention to continue to denounce, before the courts and international public opinion, the fallacies of a State whose  behaviour is squarely opposed to international law and human rights, and its own public statements.


(1)  http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/ConsejodeMinistros/Referencias/_2012/refc20120824.htm#VictimasDesapariciones

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