September 19, 2020

The 48 names of compatriots victims of the Franco regime sent to Judge Servini to join the Argentine lawsuit


The Mingorance Pérez family tries to get on the Stanbrook ship. They want to leave Spain, with the death throes of war and the defeat of democracy on their heels. They all end up arrested in Alicante. And they penalize their support for the Republic behind bars. It is the outline of one of the stories included in the list that Judge María Servini has received with 48 Argentine citizens who were victims of the Franco regime between 1936 and 1978.

The initiative is based on the database ‘All names’ and find that these names are part of the so-called Argentine complaint, the only process in the world that has tried to judge Franco’s crimes for a decade. The victims that Servini now knows were born in Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata or Mendoza. And they ended up executed. Or they suffered jail time and slave labor. A handful follow unaccounted for.

The documentation has been delivered to the Argentine Consulate in the city of Cádiz to be sent to the Criminal and Correctional Court No. 1 of Buenos Aires. The Secretary of State for Democratic Memory of the Government of Spain, Fernando Martínez, also has access to the list of victims. As well as “different entities and groups of Argentine residents in Spain”.

The intention is clear: “that they consider their intervention in this matter”, according to the entities that make up the database, the association Our Memory and the working group Recovering the Memory of the Social History of Andalusia (RMHSA) of CGT. The Web page ‘All names’ adds 104,475 names of reprisals in Andalusia, Extremadura and North Africa.

The memorial collectives already presented at the Argentine embassy in Madrid, in 2014, a first list of 33 names, updated at this time to the 48 Argentines retaliated on Andalusian soil. They are all men, except for one case, a woman: Diana Mingorance, a young woman who became part of the International Brigades and ended up imprisoned.

“As far as we know, no action was taken by the Argentine authorities in any way,” they underline. Now they hope that the information is “of interest to the cause directed” by magistrate Servini.

Jail for sewing republican flags

The typewriter had a defect in a key. And it was not difficult to find Diana Mingorance. It was the middle of the 1940s. But Diana and her sister Libertad received on April 14 the order to celebrate the anniversary of the Republic. They made letters, paper flags, and a machine-sewn tricolor. The two were arrested. Diana was sentenced to two years, four months, and one day in prison for conspiracy.

Before this episode lived in hiding, Diana became part of a battalion of the International Brigades. And from the age of 15 she was active in the Unified Socialist Youth (JSU). Her family failed to integrate the half million exiles that caused the war. From there, arrests, convictions and imprisonment awaited them.

Diana Mingorance was born in Buenos Aires and was living in Madrid at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. She wove a history tied to the commitment to democracy. And it is one of the names that Judge María Servini can now read in her hometown. She is the Only Woman of that list of 48 Argentines retaliated by the Franco regime between 1936 and 1978.

Like Emilio Armengod Molina. Son of actors, he was born in Argentine lands during a trip of his parents. He lived in San Fernando (Cádiz), where he was a councilor for the Republican Union. On the same July 18, 36, he was arrested by the coup plotters. Almost a month later they killed him shots in Puerto Real. Armengod had five children, was a Freemason and worked as an interpreter for the Naval Construction Society and as a life insurance salesman.

Argentine slaves and disappeared

Many were “shot” by the coup plotters. Case of the 18-year-old Víctor Serafín Mohedano. Or Gabriel Fuentes, Cristóbal Villalba, Juan Funes… And more assassinated, like José Miguel Hernández in Huelva, Manuel Pérez… Francisco Pérez in a “disappeared situation”, like Alberto Sales, who was 24 years old. Or Juan Reinado, who before death passed through the Cape Carvoeiro prison ship.

Slave labor affected a group of these victims. In the construction of what is known as the Canal de los Presos or in the militarized prison colony in Canal del Bajo Guadalquivir, where Manuel Mata, Bonifacio García were sentenced … Eduardo Sánchez lost an eye in a “work accident” in the mercury mine in Almadén (Ciudad Real ). The typographer Francisco Asensio, judged by the Council of War, ended up in the El Dueso Penitentiary Colony (Cantabria).

And more. The professional purification to the teacher Joaquín Brotons. The cause opened by “terrorism” against the Rosario Antonio Jiménez. Félix Barranquero, from Tucumán, sentenced by the Public Order Court: 7 years in prison and a fine of 10,000 pesetas for illicit association and illegal propaganda. Or Cristóbal Calvo, sentenced for “aid to the rebellion” and Antonio Romagnani, for “cover-up of fugitives.”

José Lozano was persecuted because he played revolutionary marches with his accordion during demonstrations. He was acquitted. Like Antonio Zambonino, who was saved by the intervention of the Argentine consul in Cádiz. He worked as an employee of the statistics office at the City Hall and was tried for “military rebellion.”

Repression “in its various forms”

Most of the Argentine victims were born in Buenos Aires. Other cities add three reprisals, such as Mar del Plata, Rosario or Mendoza. Two of these people were from Tucumán, and another two from San Luis del Palmar, a town in the province of Corrientes. One more, from Córdoba. And in three cases the locality of origin is not known.

The information has been compiled by historians José Luis Gutiérrez Molina and Julio Guijarro, supported by computer scientist José Espinosa as part of the ‘All names’ database team. The “primary sources” are “a broad group of historians, researchers, and archivists.”

The “updated relationship” shows Argentines “who suffered repression in its various forms.” About twenty suffered prison sentences and another six, slave labor, in battalions of workers or penal colonies. The punishments received were diverse, from fines, professional cleansing and files to confinement on the death ship, Corporal Carvoeiro.

At least twelve of these people were executed. Many remain unaccounted for. “During these years we have had no news of any kind from the Argentine authorities,” say Paqui Maqueda, from Nuestra Memoria, and Cecilio Gordillo, from RMHSA. “Spreading their life stories” will “serve” so that they never fall into oblivion by this amnesiac country and its rulers, “the memorial entities emphasize.

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