SPAIN’S notorious Franco era henchman and torturer, nicknamed “Billy the Kid”, has died of Covid-19.
Antonio González Pacheco died, aged 73, in Madrid today (May 7), and was given the nickname of the cowboy outlaw after his habit of spinning a gun on his finger.
He was regarded as one of the worst torturers in the General Franco dictatorship, but was never formally charged thanks to the Amnesty Law of 1977, which granted immunity to crimes committed from the Spanish Civil War through to the mid-70’s.
González served as a police officer in Madrid under the Franco regime and in 1975, after Franco’s death, he joined the police’s anti-terrorism unit, where he led a campaign against the Basque terrorist group ETA.
In 2013, an Argentinian court issued an international arrest warrant for González on 13 counts of torture as part of a broader investigation into Franco-era crimes that included disappearances, forced labour, murders, stolen children, and unlawful detention.
That bid failed a year later the High Court in Madrid rejected an extradition request, saying that any crimes that had been committed had passed.
At least 36 complaints have also been filed in Spain against González and other officers belonging to Franco’s police.
Several of his alleged victims claim that he was a sadist who took delight in torture.
He was even awarded a silver medal in 1977 for his services to the country and a 50 per cent hike to his retirement pension.