September 23, 2020

“The cause that imputes Martín Villa judges crimes, it is not a political matter, it is judicial”

The last hours have been intense for the victims and families involved in the Argentine lawsuit that judges crimes against humanity committed during the Franco regime. In anticipation of the statement by former minister Rodolfo Martín Villa, the commotion created by the publication of some letters of support to Martín Villa sent to the Argentine judge and signed by the four living former presidents of the Spanish Government, four former union leaders and other personalities.

Ten years of Argentine Complaint: the only trial in the world against Francoism

Ten years of Argentine Complaint: the only trial in the world against Francoism

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The Argentine and Spanish lawyers for the complaint are clear on the interpretation of these supports. The lawyer Eduardo Fachal considers that “these letters show that Martín Villa still has contacts with the power and that his intention has been to evade the action of justice” and remarks that, although he and his colleagues want the right to full defense of the accused, in Argentina, he could even be sentenced to preventive detention following the Irurzun doctrine, “which punishes that someone who has remnants of contacts with power can evade the action of justice.”

Fachal is surprised by the moment in which these letters have arrived, “even in a scenario long before the sentencing instance, which is when this type of testimony is usually presented.” For the rest, it underlines that, although “the letters have been intended to influence the judge,” he “has shown in the past that he does not allow himself to be bent by these attempts at pressure.”

A period of ten days to process it

Both he and other lawyers working on the lawsuit believe that the magistrate, “when the time comes, will issue the indictment of Martín Villa.” She has ten days to do so from her statement, taken this Thursday, although she could also request an extension.

In conversation with, the lawyer of the complaint Ana Messuti has explained that “the letters of support to Martín Villa tell us in which plane his defense moves, which is in the political plane.”

“Here there is a national level and an international level. The political level and the judicial level. From a national point of view they see it as isolated crimes that make them amnestiable. We see them as crimes against humanity that make them register in another context. and to which another regime is applied. It seems that they do not care what international institutions tell them, “he said, referring to the recommendations to Spain from the United Nations and other organizations in matters of truth, justice and reparation.

“We do not judge the Transition. We start from the basis that there is a repressive continuity. How can this be proven? Because there is the same political line, the same Francoist positions continue to hold positions in the transition, in democracy, not to mention power judicial, which remained practically intact. If there is a repression that lasts 40 years and if it continues for a few more years under another regime, it is most likely that this repression will be a continuation of the previous regime, “Messuti added.

In the same vein, lawyer Fachal expresses himself, who considers that “the letters [de apoyo a Martín Villa] they are testimonies of concept, that is, they refer to the person, they are not witnesses of the facts. ”

The Spanish lawyer Jacinto Lara, also in the Argentine complaint, believes that “the judge is not permeable to political pressure”, recalls that this process is criminal and not political and trusts that the magistrate María de Servini will prosecute the former minister “because in the Because of this, there are a multitude of evidentiary proceedings that prove not only the facts but also the responsibility of the same by Martín Villa, located as crimes against humanity, “he said in statements to

“Before you did it for us, now we do it for you”

Fachal, who has been a plaintiff lawyer, for example, in trials for torture and crimes against humanity perpetrated at the Argentine Navy Mechanics School (ESMA), says he is moved by the similarity of the accounts of the survivors of both dictatorships, the Spanish and the Argentine:

“I am moved by how coincidental they are. They are the same torture methods used, there is the same intensity of pain in what suffered by the victims on one side of the ocean and the other, that bond unites us. Before you did it for us, now we for you, “he says in reference to the impulse that Spain gave in its day to the investigation of crimes against humanity committed in Chile and Argentina.

On Thursday afternoon they held various concentrations against the impunity of the Franco regime and for a trial of Martín Villa in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Oviedo and Pamplona.


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