PSOE and United We can propose changes in the Democratic Memory Law, one of the government’s star projects, which has received criticism from its partners ERC and EH Bildu. These groups, whose votes are necessary for it to succeed, demand, among other things, the repeal of the Amnesty Law of 1977 that prevents judging the crimes of the Franco regime. Among the modifications agreed by the coalition parties is one that is close to that demand.
A new section is added to article 2 that establishes that “All the laws of the Spanish State, including Law 46/1977, of October 15, on Amnesty, will be interpreted and applied in accordance with conventional and customary international law and, in in particular, with International Humanitarian Law, according to which crimes of war, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture are considered imprescriptible and not amnestiable ”.
The motive is to guarantee the victims’ right to justice. The Amnesty Law has prevented victims from proceeding with their processes in Spain since it exempts the leaders of the dictatorship from any criminal responsibility for any act committed until December 1977.
The best known case of the consequences of this blockade is that of former minister Rodolfo Martín Villa, whom several victims denounced in Argentina due to the impossibility of doing so in Spain. The judge decreed his prosecution a few weeks ago.
The PSOE and UP amendments also introduce the right to reparation.
“The victims of the War and the Dictatorship defined in this law have the right to recognition and comprehensive reparation by the State. 1. The General State Administration will develop a set of restitution, rehabilitation and satisfaction measures, aimed at the reestablishment of the rights of victims in their individual and collective dimensions, and the possibility of recognition of assets seized during the Civil War and the dictatorship once the audit of these properties provided for in the law is completed: The right to compensation for seized assets is recognized and the economic sanctions produced for political, ideological, conscience or religious belief reasons during the War and the Dictatorship, in the terms established by law, as well as in the development regulations. 2. The General State Administration will promote the necessary initiatives for the investigation of seizures produced for political reasons, ideol logic, conscience or religious belief during the War and the Dictatorship and, in particular, will carry out an audit of the property plundered in said period, including works of art, paper money or other fiduciary signs deposited by the Francoist authorities, as well as the imposition of economic sanctions in application of the regulations of political responsibilities. This audit will include an inventory of assets and rights seized. The audit must be carried out within one year from the entry into force of this law. 3. Once the audit referred to in the previous section is completed, the possible ways of recognizing those affected will be implemented, regardless of what is provided in this regard in article 5.4 of this law “.
That article 5.4 denied any patrimonial responsibility of the State, something that is now possible in some cases.
The amendments also affect the archives and specifically the documentation kept by the Franco Foundation: The archives and documentation of the government of the Dictatorship, in particular that of the Head of State, which are in the possession of private entities or natural persons, are they will incorporate, once the legal procedures have been passed, the Documentary Center of Historical Memory or the archive of the public body that is determined in a motivated manner ”.
The reason for this change, the groups specify, “establish the legal framework for the recovery and location of all the files and documentation of the dictatorship government.”
Another novelty regarding the bill in process is that 33 titles of nobility are specified to be eliminated for having been granted during the dictatorship:
1. Duke of Primo de Rivera, with Greatness of Spain.
2. Duke of Calvo Sotelo, with Greatness of Spain.
3. Duke of Mola, with Greatness of Spain.
4. Count of the Alcázar of Toledo, with Greatness of Spain.
5. Count of Labajos.
6. Marqués de Dávila and the Greatness of Spain who joins him.
7. Marqués de Saliquet.
8. Marquis of Queipo de Llano.
9. Marquis of Alboran.
10. Count of Jarama.
11. Marquis of Varela de San Fernando.
12. Count of Benjumea.
13. Marqués de Somosierra.
14. Greatness of Spain awarded to the Count of Rodezno.
15. Marquis of San Leonardo de Yagüe.
16. Count of the Cierva.
17. Marquis of Vigón.
18. Count of Fenosa.
19. Count of Castillo de la Mota.
20. Marquis of Suanzes.
21. Marquis of Kindelan.
22. Count of Pallasar.
23. Marquis of Casa Cervera.
24. Count of Martín Moreno.
25. Marqués de Bilbao Eguía.
26. Greatness of Spain to D. Fernando Suárez de Tangil y de Angulo
27. Count of Bau.
28. Duke of Carrero Blanco, with Greatness of Spain.
29. Señorío de Meirás, with Grandeur Spain.
30. Duke of Franco, with Greatness of Spain.
31. Marqués de Arias Navarro, with Grandeur of Spain.
32. Count of Rodríguez de Valcárcel.
33. Count of Iturmendi
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.