Victims and lawyers ask Spain to stop hindering the judicial investigation of the crimes of the Franco regime

Victims, relatives and lawyers in the Argentine lawsuit against the crimes of the Franco regime they have been years seeking justice. Now after the indictment against former minister Rodolfo Martín Villa by the Argentine justice known last Saturday, they have publicly expressed satisfaction and at the same time have made a call for "the three powers of the Spanish State to stop obstructing the judicial investigation."

Vitoria 1976 and Sanfermines 1978, the two massacres that put Martín Villa on the bench

Vitoria 1976 and Sanfermines 1978, the two massacres that put Martín Villa on the bench

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Lawyer Eduardo Fachal, for the Argentine plaintiff, highlighted this Tuesday that the order against Martín Villa "establishes, literally, that the entire repressive structure set up by the Franco regime continued to function under the direction of the new political leadership in charge of the process of transition".

We will have to redouble our efforts because we know that the Spanish State has not collaborated so far

Eduardo Fachal, lawyer for the Argentine lawsuit

"The judge is processing him for four homicides but makes it clear that she is going to continue investigating the entire transition process. We therefore have to continue working and we will have to redouble our efforts, because we know that the Spanish State has not collaborated so far. more likely it is that the letters rogatory requested by the judge [Servini] are rejected by the Spanish judiciary, "he added.

In the same sense, the Spanish lawyer Jacinto Lara has expressed himself: "This order indicates that this is a current problem of our democracy, that it does not respond to the demands for effective protection and that it puts the Spanish State in front of a mirror."

Lara recalled that "from the UN Human Rights Committee, from the Council of Europe, even from the European Parliament, the impunity model of the Spanish State has been denounced" and stressed that "it is in the hands of the three powers of the The Spanish State will reverse this model of impunity incompatible with a democratic and legal state ".

The General Prosecutor's Office of the Spanish State has a more than obvious opportunity to modify the conduct maintained up to now.

Jacinto Lara, lawyer for the Argentine lawsuit

The lawyers of the State Coordinator that promoted the Argentine complaint against the crimes of Francoism (Ceaqua) consider that the order challenges the Spanish courts, the State Attorney General's Office and also the current Government. "The Office of the Prosecutor has a more than evident opportunity to modify the conduct maintained up to now and report so that the rogatory commissions are fulfilled. The Spanish Government is also challenged, so that it may introduce the necessary amendments to provide an adequate response in its draft Law on Memory to justice ", indicates Jacinto Lara.

In this sense, they request that "the judiciary, judges, magistrates and the Constitutional Court itself issue resolutions in accordance with the international obligations assumed that allow and make possible in the criminal jurisdictional order the investigation and prosecution of Francoist crimes."

We presented more than 80 complaints in territorial courts in Spain and the systematic response of those courts has been inadmissibility.

Lucía Aragó, plaintiff

The petitions of victims, relatives and organizations

Victims, relatives and lawyers have spoken at a press conference via the Internet before the Argentine and Spanish media. Lucila Aragó, from the Citizen Association against the Impunity of Francoism in the Valencian Country, recalled that they went to the Argentine justice a decade ago, "knowing that universal justice protected us and that we are facing crimes against humanity."

"We have continued to accumulate evidence, we have not given up, we have presented more than eighty complaints in territorial courts in Spain, and the systematic response of those courts has been inadmissibility. We are systematically denied judicial protection. This prosecution of Martín Villa makes it clear that these crimes can be judged as crimes against humanity ", explained Aragó.

We receive this processing with great enthusiasm but also with some caution given the obstacles placed by the Spanish State

Andoni Txasco
- Victim and member of the Association March 3

Both she and other victims have stressed that the pursuit of justice for these crimes implies the demand for a fairer society with greater democratic quality.

Fermín Rodríguez, brother of Germán Rodríguez, murdered by the police during the Sanfermines of 1978 in Pamplona, ​​stressed that the car "makes it clear that it was an organized, planned and therefore premeditated act." "That we have had to do this in a court thousands of kilometers away describes the state of the Spanish judiciary," he added.

Andoni Txasco, one of the victims - has only 2% vision after the beating that the police gave him on March 4, 1976 in Vitoria, hours after the massacre that killed five workers and injured 150 more people–, said that "we receive this prosecution with great enthusiasm but also with certain caution given the obstacles placed by the Government and the Spanish State so that this complaint can be advanced, obstacles exposed by the judge herself [Servini]".

The Spanish State continues not to judge or let it judge the crimes of the Franco regime

Victims and relatives

Txasco has regretted that the Spanish State "continues without judging or allowing judgment, it gives shelter and protection to Francoist criminals who committed serious human rights violations."

Manuel Ruiz, a member of the La Comuna association and brother of Arturo Ruiz, recalled that Arturo was murdered two shots in the back in Madrid in January 1977 "by far-rightists who collaborated with the police or the Civil Guard." Ruiz emphasizes that, despite the fact that Martín Villa has not been prosecuted for the death of his brother, "the judge has left the door open for further investigation, what she is asking for is more information."

"The complicity of the extreme right gangs with the State forces was clear. Arturo's murderer was never arrested, firstly because there was no strong intention on the part of the police or the judiciary. As stated in the car, he was protected by the Civil Guard, was able to flee the place and the money sent to him by relatives came to him through an agent who later had an important position in the Civil Guard, "he indicated.

"Application of Universal Jurisdiction"

For the rest, the lawyers for the Argentine complaint emphasize that "from a legal perspective, the indictment is an example of the effective application of Universal Jurisdiction and, consequently, of the principles and norms that make up International Human Rights Law. and International Criminal Law. In this sense, it addresses the impossibility of applying the Amnesty Law, or any other rule of impunity, to crimes against humanity, their imprescriptibility or how the international classification of this type of crimes should be addressed without taking into account it counts the date on which they were incorporated into the internal legal system of the States ".

"We challenge the Spanish State to collaborate with the criminal case, to adopt the necessary measures for the recognition of the judicial protection of these people. It concerns us as a society as a whole, so that there is a total recognition of the human rights that assist to these people ", they have reiterated.

During their speeches at the press conference, a good part of the lawyers, victims and relatives wanted to remember the lawyer Carlos Slepoy and Chato Galante, now deceased, "who always worked for human rights and whose work was essential to get here ".


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