Constantino Salinas (1886-1960) was one of the most prominent figures of Navarrese socialism during the Second Republic. Serafín Yanguas (1876-1960) was a liberal under Alfonso XIII and, disenchanted with the monarchy, ended up in the Republican ranks and forming part of the Radical Party. Juan Pedro Arraiza (1877-1966) became mayor of Pamplona in 1909 as a member of a Catholic-antiliberal coalition, at the proposal of the fundamentalists, and supported the coup of 1936.
The three, with undoubted ideological differences, have in common that, between 1931 and 1939, at the time of the Second Spanish Republic, they held the position of vice president of the Provincial Council. At that time ―from the entry into force in 1841 of the Paced Law of the Provincial Council until the approval of the Spanish Constitution in 1978 ― the presidency of the Deputation corresponded to the civil Governor, although they exercised the political direction of Navarra were the provincial deputies vice-presidents. The socialist, a native of the municipality of Alsasua, Constantino Salinas, held the position after the proclamation of the Second Republic (1931-1934), he was succeeded by Serafín Yanguas (1934-35) from Pamplona and after the general elections of that year he was relieved by the Uitzi’s lawyer, Juan Pedro Arraiza.
The three names and their corresponding paintings were absent until now from the Hall of Portraits of the Palace of Navarra, seat of the Government, where the faces of the previous leaders of the institution can be seen, from 1940 to 2019. The Regional Executive ended this Tuesday with that distinction by presenting the portraits of Salinas, Yanguas and Arraiza, made in pencil and charcoal by the artist from Pamplona Amaya Gurpide, who lives in New York. Thus, the Hall of Portraits already exposes the faces of those who exercised the vice-presidency or presidency – after the approval of the Constitution of 78 – of the Provincial Council, from the coup d’état of Primo de Rivera in 1923 to the present. With one exception: the one who precisely inaugurated the tradition of making the paintings is missing, Tomás Domínguez Arévalo, the Count of Rodezno (elected vice president in 1940), whose portrait was taken down due to his role in Franco’s repression and because he was considered to be in breach of the Memory Law. Historical In fact, in 2015, the Executive of the then president Uxue Barkos (Geroa Bai) withdrew his status as an adopted and favorite son of Navarra.
In the presentation ceremony, the president, María Chivite, asserted on Tuesday that it is a matter of “justice and constitutional respect.” “We can not forget those who defended democracy and values of social and civic commitment that we have to value, and that many were led by exile and reprisals,” he said. The vice president of the regional government, Javier Remírez, detailed in conversation with EL PAÍS that these works represent what was the political reality of that time, very diverse and with difficulties to coexist.
Constantino Salinas, Serafín Yanguas and Juan Pedro Arraiza, in addition to their ideological differences, had very different lives. The socialist Salinas practiced medicine until the outbreak of the civil war and in 1918 he joined the PSOE. He fled to France in 1936 after learning about the rebellion in the Pamplona barracks, and ended up landing in Argentina, where he died in 1966. He is the only one of the three who died in exile. He was known for including the minors of the orphanage within the so-called Hospital de Barañain ―current Hospital Universitario de Navarra―, for his promotion of Medicine and, underlines Vice President Remirez, for his intense work in all disputes between owners and farmers over Navarre lands.
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For his part, Serafín Yanguas, a liberal under Alfonso XII, ended up on the Republican side, dissatisfied with the monarchy and the support it gave to the coup d’état of Primo de Rivera (1923). He was one of the promoters of the newspaper The Democrat Navarro ―Ascribed to the liberal party―, but also from the newspaper Democracy, already in the period of the republic. He was elected vice president in 1934 and, although after the 1936 coup he was in Pamplona, his moderate profile allowed him not to suffer any reprisals for his republican past. In fact, he came to collaborate with the rebels on several occasions, and died in the Navarran capital in 1960.
Finally, Juan Pedro Arraiza was a conservative, Carlist in orientation. During his vice-presidency, the coup d’état of ’36 took place and the deputation sided with the rebels. In fact, he signed as vice president the letter addressed to the province in which he claimed the legitimacy of the military intervention. From his replacement at the head of the institution by Tomás Domínguez Arévalo, Count of Rodezno, until his death, he was linked to the Navarrese public institutions. Together with his brothers in 1903 he promoted the creation of Navarra newspaper.
From now on, the three portraits can be seen on guided tours of the noble floor of the Palace of Navarra.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.