A non-existent plot against Franco led to the arrest of more than one hundred people


More than a hundred citizens considered to be of leftist ideology were arrested in Burgos, and 49 of them prosecuted, for their alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate Frank investigated by the Military Police Information Service (SIPM) in 1938 and that did not really exist.

It is one of the conclusions of the book “The summary of fear. Council of War of the plot of the Old Cemetery”, which reveals hitherto unpublished data on the actions of Franco’s secret services and the Military Justice, thanks to the journalists and collaborating professors of the University of Burgos, Miguel Ángel Moreno and José María Chomón, and the University of Extremadura, Clara Sanz.

The proceedings to which they refer in their research was initiated by the secret services, in full Civil war and when Burgos was the capital of the revolted Spain.

It ended in a judicial macroprocess, case 9094/38, where none of the defendants was convicted of the alleged crime of Military rebellion, when it was shown that said conspiracy never existed.

Of the more than 100 people detained by the military police for their alleged participation in the plot against the caudillo and the Minister of the Interior, Ramón Serrano SuñerForty-nine were prosecuted.

Fifteen of them were opened Council of War on March 26, 1941, without any of them being convicted of the crime they were charged with Aid to the Military Rebellion, included in article 240 of the Code of Military Justice.

However, despite the absolute judgment for those who were tried and the dismissal in the case of the other thirty-four affected, all suffered harassment, persecution, years in jail and, in many cases, they were subjected to new Councils of War accused of the different variants of the crime of Military Rebellion -adhesion, aid and excitement-.

This event in Burgos history that now comes to light has been possible thanks to the consultation of the documents kept in the Northwest Military Intermediate Archive (El Ferrol).

Access to this documentation has also made it possible to answer the question as to whether the alleged attack against the caudillo who investigated the SIPM was it real or an invention.

As it turned out, the plot never existed, although the judicial earthquake that it unleashed had important consequences for many citizens who endured harassment, years of pdeprivation of freedom, loss of jobs and fear for the future and even for his own life.

The research gathers data from the double repression, police first and judicial later, which suffered the losers of the Civil War.

The story starts from the study of the idiosyncrasy of the Franco’s secret services, created in the image and likeness of the German Gestapo and that during the war they had their headquarters in the capital of Burgos, as well as the police file they carried out, the called Benlo Report, with inquiries carried out by these agents, commanded by the Austrian spy Herbert Heide, to dismantle the armed uprising that tried to attack the caudillo.

Next, in the bulk of this work, the summaries of the judicial process and the Council of War of this conspiracy are collected; the account of other very summary trials that some of those involved had to face; and a final look at how they survived those neighbors who saw their lives cut short by harassment, persecution and loss of freedom.

Finally, in the form of an annex, the transcript of the Benlo Report is published, which provides the possibility of enter the interweaving of Burgos in the rear, where countless Burgos trying to survive in a time of hardship, and especially those loyal to the Republic and those who had already suffered the repression of the war, remained under suspicion in a suffocating environment full of intrigue and denunciation.

Miguel Ángel Moreno, Clara Sanz and José María Chomón have published numerous books and articles in scientific journals, mainly in the field of press, radio, heritage or historical photography.

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