U.N. Urges Spain to Tell Truth about Franco’s Enforced Disappearances

November 22, 2013
Former Spanish judge Garzon.  Credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Former Spanish judge Garzon. Credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

On November 6, the Spanish delegation to the United Nations said that it would not review the 1977 law which gave amnesty for political crimes committed during the civil war and General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, although A U.N. human rights watchdog had urged the country to investigate the disappearances of civilians during and after the 1936-1939 civil war.  According to former judge Baltasar Garzón, at least 152,000 civilians living in territory controlled by Franco’s Nationalist forces disappeared between 1936 and 1951.  Spain is one of 40 countries to have  joined the 2010 International Convention of Enforced Disappearances and thus has come under increasing pressure to investigate its history of enforced disappearances and clarify their fate to the victims’ loved ones.

In a recent report, the U.N. working group on enforced disappearances stated that Spanish families have the right to know the truth regarding the fate of their loved ones who have disappeared. According to Reuters, 

Former judge Garzón said the subject of the killings is all but taboo in Spain, where right and left have preferred to forget the era. He said he had recorded cases of some 30,000 Spanish children who, during Franco’s 35-year rule, were taken at birth from “unsuitable” mothers — often communists or leftists — and given to “good Catholic families.”

To read more, click here. Previous coverage in The Volunteer is here.