Government says Amnesty Law will remain in force

The Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Felix Bolaños, has assured this Thursday that what the Law of Democratic Memory promoted by the Government does, and the amendments agreed between PSOE and United We Can, it is not to repeal nor leave without effect Amnesty Law of 1977 but quite the opposite, because what it does is ratify its validity and reaffirm that it must be interpreted in accordance with international deals.

Therefore, Bolaños has admitted that when the new rule comes into force, the legal situation in Spain will remain exactly the same that now, which is the one that has existed since 2002, when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was ratified and it was established that the law should be applied in accordance with international law.

One of the amendments of the PSOE and United We can introduce in the 1977 law that “war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture have the consideration of imprescribibles and not amnestiable”. However, ERC accused PSOE and United We Can this Wednesday of “deceiving the people” with the amendment and said that the Government “sells smoke” and acts with “absurd triumphalism” with this “false revision” of the law.

“No change. What can be done when the law comes into force is exactly the same as since 2002“, Bolaños has emphasized, in an interview in Zero Wave, in which it has recognized that the difficulties that now exist to judge the crimes of the Franco regime will remain the same, and that they have to do, in his opinion, with the non-retroactivity of criminal legislation.

The difficulties continue in the criminal field

In this regard, it has explained, on the one hand, that since the memory law is not an organic law, it will not affect criminal legislation; and on the other, that this criminal law does not allow retroactivity. “We cannot establish a rule in the year 2021 that applies to actions that were carried out in the year 70 or 72”, has manifested.

The minister did not want to comment on specific cases such as that of the former minister of the dictatorship Rodolfo Martín Villa, who is being tried in Argentina due to the impossibility of promoting such a process in Spain, but has insisted that, with the new memory law, the situation is not going to change in that regard. “The situation is exactly the same as since 2002,” he reiterated.

In addition, Bolaños has vindicated both the Transition process as a whole and that Amnesty rule of 1977, contrary to the interpretations that indicate that the Government intends to render it null and void now. “It was very important for the consolidation of democracy. It was the left who asked for it and got many people who were in jail for their ideas, who had not committed any crime, to leave,” he claimed.

The Government speaks “with all groups” for the Democratic Memory Law

Regarding the support, and the anticipation of not having ERC this time, after having even presented an amendment to the entire standard, Bolaños has assured that they are talking “with all groups” and he has defended that so far in the legislature they have managed to close important agreements to carry out their regulations, such as the General Budgets.

In this context, he has defended that they have also spoken with Citizens to be able to add their votes to a law that what it does, according to Bolaños, is end the “anomaly” that Spain does not have a law of these characteristics, which is already “too late” for the victims. At this point, he wanted to highlight that the rule “condemns all totalitarianisms”, although he recalled that in Spain there has been Franco.

On the other hand, he has defended the amendment with which the PSOE and United We can establish a deadline until 1982 to study “cases of violation of human rights of people in their fight for the consolidation of democracy”, but he wanted to make it clear that the period of application of the future memory law “ends with the entry into force of the Constitution of 78”.

Of course, he explained that they did consider it necessary to introduce an additional provision to create a committee of experts to study possible violations of fundamental rights between 78 and 82, taking into account the “consensus” of historians, who point out that after the approval of the Magna Carta, “there was a time with inertia of the dictatorship.”

In this regard, he has indicated that no one can be against making moral reparation to people who suffered “some violence” when they tried to consolidate democracy after the Constitution came into force.

About him name change of the Valley of the Fallen to Cuelgamuros, the minister has said that “it’s more neutral, more eclectic” and that what they want is to “resignify the valley, stop being a tribute to the dictatorship “.

“We want it to be a place of memoryThat it be a space where all people can go there, recognize themselves and see what the dictatorship was and what were the steps that were taken to reach a democracy, “he said.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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