Garzón: I did my duty

November 8, 2010

In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Público, Judge Baltasar Garzón, who last week spoke at the Estoril Film Festival, lamented the gradual abandonment of the principle of universal justice on the part of national governments (including Spain and the UK), and defended his 2008 decision to go ahead with the investigation of Francoist crimes. “To do what I did was my duty. If I had not initiated an investigation I would have been in violation of my obligations as a judge. So it’s exactly the opposite of what I am accused of.” (“Era a minha obrigação fazer o que fiz. Não ter investigado e actuado é que teria implicado uma responsabilização penal, como juiz. É exactamente o contrário do que me acusam.”) Garzón also said that the Spanish transition to democracy left untouched the issue of the more than hundred thousand disappeared, and that films can be important tools to raise awareness among the wider public about issues of historical memory, transitional justice, and human rights.  More here.