Franco Exhumation reportage

11 May 2017, Spanish Congress approved a plan by the Socialist Party (PSOE) to exhume Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen monument. The parliament approved with 198 votes in favor and 140 abstentions.

The grandchildren of the dictator are opposed, but in such a case they want to bury the remains in La Almudena cathedral in the center of Madrid, and with full “military honors.”

With Franco are buried 33.000 bodies with no marked grave, they had not an honorable bury and theirs family can’t show respect to the remains.

The writer and journalist, expert in “the disappears”, Juan Miguel Baquero has been working in Andalusia with historical memory associations collecting data from digging up the unidentified graves. Juan Miguel Baquero recently says :

“In Andalusia according to official data there are 708 common graves and there are more than 50,000 people who were executed by Spanish fascism and buried in any ditch, what is intended is to remove them and give them a dignified burial.”

Only in Andalusia disappeared more people during the dictatorship than in Argentina dictatorship started with Videla.

Gonzalo Berger is a historian and writer, expert in the Spanish civil war.

It is necessary somehow to solve the problem of the disappeared, the people who are in the pits, the recognition of the antifascist combatants or those who defend the republic. A whole series of measures that help in some way to definitively close all the process that involved the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of General Franco.

“The difference between Italy and Germany with respect to Spain is that in Spain the fascist regime won the war and then consolidated its regime in the dictatorship, and in the transition some of the structures subsequently survived or everything that had previously happened was not reviewed

The issue of the claims of the victims of Francoism or the Civil War in Spain has no way of being accepted by the Spanish courts. There was an endpoint law and no issue related to the Francoism can be tried in Spain, in that sense the perpetrators are unpunished (can not be judged) and that is why some of the victims have gone to Argentina to claim that justice international that at the moment has not prospered in Spain.

The difference between Italy and Germany with respect to Spain is that in Spain the fascist regime won the war and then consolidated its regime in the dictatorship, and in the transition some of the structures subsequently survived or everything that had previously happened was not reviewed.

I believe that sociologically there still exists in Spain a large part of the population that remembers with nostalgia other times or simply coincides ideologically with the values of fascism and in the moment that has had an option or that has presented the opportunity they have responded by voting for this Fascist party, but we must bear in mind that the Franco regime in Spain also received social support and that this support still survives in Spain.”

Last elections in Andalusia regional government shows the arise of the right mentality, repeating facts in voters like the ones supporting Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro or Salvini. Antifeminism, racist, homophobic, protectionist and religious are common nexus for those allowing ultra right parties being in power.

VOX represent those who like to wave the flag in the balconies, those empowered against separatism in Catalonia, those who pour their hate into social media where the political organizations find the way to enlighten them with slogans and the support of fake news.

Juan Miguel Baquero, writer and journalist.

“VOX speech is clear, it is direct, besides the electoral program that it had were very few points and it is an eminently traditional discourse tied to the most fusty of Spanishism of patriotic customs. They defend bullfighting, hunting, the flag as a discourse of hatred and confrontation, especially with the conflict in Catalonia which has been one of the bases that has made this discourse populist national, VOX and it has a great echo in any place.”

Torre del Oro, Sevilla.

Los Remedios neighborhood in Sevilla is where Popular Party historically use to have better results in Sevilla. In this last elections VOX has been second political force, Juanjo Barraso has switched Popular Party to VOX, he explained to us why he is supporting an Ultra right party.

Juanjo Barraso VOX supporter

“With the emergence of VOX we realized that the PP no longer represented us, VOX had a program that represented a part of Spaniards who have already stopped believing in the PP and that was why I started voting for VOX .

I am a bullfighting fan, I like the bulls and I respect who does not like them, who does not like bulls don’t have to go. Hunting, I am not a hunter, I have never hunted, but I respect the ones who like hunting or fishing, the ones who does not like don’t have to, a very simple thing and I think it’s very good to defend it, those are things of tradition in Spain.

They are abandoned by the institutions, they tell you that young people do not like bulls, but young people do not like bulls because they do not broadcast on television or on the radio, they do not advertise to attract people. They only show those who criticize it, those who say bad things and that is a way to isolate and separate young people from what is the world of the bull.

I agree that there is a law of historical memory, but of memory for all, there were two sides here, neither one were so good nor others were so bad. In both sides there were bad things and I am a supporter that if you have to look for family members of the people you are looking for, if there are people out there who are looking for, but look for everyone’s. If you have to remove street names to forget the war that is removed from all, if you have to remove monuments that remove monuments from everyone. I believe that in Spain everyone has had family members on both sides and stories to tell.”

Juan Chicharro Ortega, Francisco Franco Foundation president.

“In Spain there are millions of spaniard who still admire Franco, what he did for Spain specially because he fought the communism, many people is very grateful to him. Probably it is true that many people will go to Almudena Cathedral because is closer than de Valley of Fallen which is very far from Madrid.”


The material collected by Djtalmedia (photos, videos, research) was use in reportages broadcasted in the Swedish public service television SVT and VOA (Voice of America). If you are interested in a coverage of this thematic we are your fixer service.

Alfonso Beato.- Videographer/Fixer

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