The anniversary of his murder in A Caeira, a mountain near Pontevedra, is commemorated, first in exile and later in his native land, as the Día da Galiza Mártir. His figure, that of the organizer of political Galicianism and an acute economist, served Castelao as a model for his imprecation painted against fascism, A derradeira lesson do mestre [La última lección del maestro]. Alexandre Bóveda, born in Ourense in 1903 and shot on August 17, 1936, is, since this Monday, one more cause of those collected by Judge Servini in the Argentine complaint against the crimes of the Franco regime.
August 17: Memory of the murdered Galicia
The death of Bóveda, which occurred on the same day as that of Lorca but at the other end of the Iberian Peninsula, has become an emblem of the barbarism perpetrated in Galicia by the rebels against the Second Republic. That is why its incorporation into the Servini process has a specific meaning. “We know that it is a very long and tedious road,” Valentin G. Bóveda, grandson of the historic Galician and vice president of the foundation with his name, tells elDiario.es, “and there have been many obstacles on the part of the State, due to the problems that has with his memory “.
The journey that culminated this Monday with a ceremony at the Argentine Consulate in Vigo began long ago, when the Bóveda Foundation approached Magistrate María Romilda Servini – whose investigation began in 2010 – to try to admit statements from a distance. “That was left in the inkwell. The support of the Area of Memory of the Deputation of Pontevedra now served as a catalyst. These people must see their rights restored,” he says. A year ago they announced the movement that now, a coronavirus pandemic in between, ends, at least in its initial phase. Along with Bóveda, Amancio Caamaño, president of the provincial body in 1931 who had participated in the founding of the Republican Left, and Ramiro Paz, a socialist militant and president of the Provincial Committee of the Popular Front, enter into the collective complaint. Both were shot on November 12, 1936.
It was the Provincial Council, together with the human rights team of the Novos de Vigo Avogados Group, which was in charge of compiling “documentation, bibliography and information” with which to argue the demands. They are signed by Amalia Bóveda Álvarez and Valentín García Bóveda, daughter and grandson of Bóveda; Begoña and Olga Caamaño Santos, granddaughters of Amancio Caamaño; and Ángel Ramiro and Anxos Paz García, grandchildren of Ramiro Paz. “In all this there is a judicial part, of course important, but it should also serve to change the story for the future. That is what matters most to me,” says García Bóveda. Begoña Caamaño, also present at the event in Vigo, charged against the Amnesty Law of 77: “It should never have turned out like this.”
The provincial deputy for Historical Memory, the nationalist María Ortega, summarized the meaning of the initiative: “It is essential that justice be the one that officially recognizes that the convictions, murders, torture, or purging of Galician women and men for their ideas they were really crimes against humanity and not individual acts. ” Ortega also regretted that it is not the Spanish courts that “face repression” and that it is necessary to “await results from an Argentine court or international tribunals.”
The annulment of Franco’s trials
“Some people, for years, told us that none of this was useful for anything, that he was already amnestied,” explains Bóveda’s grandson, “but there was no amnesty process. It is not even known what was amnestied. That is why the Bóveda family, also involved in the Galician Initiative for Memory that groups together various associations and people, are working to benefit from the annulment of Franco dictatorships, a possibility that includes the new Democratic Memory Law now in process. “In our opinion, it should have been more ambitious, what happens is that the Socialist Party still has cognitive dissonances with the matter. It does and does not do,” he says.
He himself remembers that his grandmother, Amalia Álvarez Gallego, died in 2001 without seeing the annulment of the summary trial that ended with the execution of her husband Alexandre. “I understand that there will be a symbolic annulment, which does not add anything to the legal file. But it can give rise to a judge to intervene,” he says. In any case, and despite the shortcomings that García Bóveda and other activists detect in the future regulation, he does not want to equate some governments with others.
Núñez Feijóo made his debut as president of the Xunta in 2009, ending all the memory policies of the previous bipartite PSdeG-BNG cabinet, including the memorial of San Simón, where Ramiro Paz was imprisoned. “As soon as you enter the political offices and you notice the difference, you perceive it,” he maintains, “in the 90s, from the foundation we went to speak with Fraga to support the Día da Galiza Mártir. It came to nothing. The idea that the people have parties is different, because parties also have their history and memory “.