Franco massacre victims’ mausoleum desecrated

This January 2019 video in Spanish is about Franco depoting 5,000 Spanish people to Hitler’s Mauthausen death camp.

By Alejandro López:

Spanish mayor desecrates mausoleum of fascist victims

17 August 2011

The right-wing Popular Party (PP) mayor of Poyales del Hoyo, in Alava province, has desecrated a mausoleum containing the remains of 10 victims executed by the fascists during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Mayor Antonio Cerro ordered the bodies to be thrown back into the mass grave outside Candeleda, a village near Poyales from which they had been exhumed in 2002.

Spain has some 2,000 mass graves containing 100,000 or more victims of the dictatorship. (See the map of graves at the Historical Memory Act web site.)

The exhumation at Poyales was carried out by the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH), a group composed of archaeologists, anthropologists and forensics scientists. Damiana Gonzaléz (PP), the mayor of Poyales del Hoyo, and the local section of her party fiercely resisted authorising space in the cemetery for the victims. According to El País, “The story of the town tells that a forefather of hers was the executioner. Or at least she bragged about it for years.” Eventually, the mausoleum was built with a plaque remembering all the names of the dead and a dove of peace on top.

The first three victims, Virtudes Punte (53), Pilar Espinosa (43) and Valeriana Granada (26 and pregnant at the time), were placed in the mausoleum in 2002. They were executed by a group of Falangists in December 1936, according to the daughter of one of the victims “because she had the luck to read, she read anything she could get her hands on, and among the newspapers they read as they were sewing was El Socialista [the newspaper of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE)].”

The other seven victims, Francisco Martín Vélez, his son Régulo Martín Plaza, Tomás Retamal Vicente, Emilio Garcia Hornillos, Caferino Gómez Díaz, his wife, Tomasa de la Peña Garcia, and their son, Benjamín Gómez de la Peña, were arrested, executed and buried in a mass grave next to a road going to Candeleda.

The other 70 to 75 victims who were executed in the small town, now with a population of 620, have not been found. One example is the former mayor, a member of Izquierda Republicana (Republican Left—the party of President Azaña of the Second Republic), who was executed in 1936. His lands were expropriated and auctioned to pro-fascist neighbours, who continue to be the owners.

Throughout the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco (1939-1975), the fascists who were killed during the first days of the Civil War retained their honours with church plaques remembering all those who died “at the hands of the Marxist hordes.”

The 30,000 lost children of the Franco years are set to be saved from oblivion. Pressure is growing to illuminate the fate decreed by the Spanish dictator to the families of his Republican enemies: here.

To this day, after Cambodia, Spain ranks second as the country with the highest number of “disappeared” people: 114,000, according to historians and relatives’ estimates. Many were executed by fascist firing squads. Their bodies were dumped in mass graves and roadside ditches: here.

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