IMPUNITY for crimes committed under the dictatorship of General Franco is under siege as Pamplona became the first local authority in Spain to demand a criminal investigation into human rights abuses perpetrated during his reign.
The city in northern Spain approved a motion to begin legal proceedings as the town hall, led by a nationalist coalition seeking independence for the Navarra region, overwhelmingly backed the motion. Solely opposing the initiative was the conservative Union of Navarran People.
More widely known for its famous running of the bulls, Pamplona was not in the front lines of the war but excerpts from the proposal detail several atrocities committed in the city and region during Franco’s uprising.
300 citizens of Pamplona and nearly 2000 across the Navarre region are claimed to have been killed in a ‘completely gratuitous, bloody, massive and brutal repression’ according to the public report, which also stated that: “From the first moment, the elected authorities were persecuted and detained, social organisations were suppressed and their members detained and jailed.”
Carlos Slepov, a lawyer representing Franco victims, announced in a press conference that: “This lawsuit is of huge importance when it comes to ending the impunity of the crimes of the dictatorship,” adding “This is the first, but we’re convinced there will be many more.”
Crimes under Francoism have never been fully investigated following an amnesty law agreed upon during the country’s transformation into a parliamentary democracy.