Saturday, September 27, 2008

Garzón To Church....Try Again

The Catholic Church in Spain has been given another opportunity to collaborate with the investigation into the whereabouts of the victims of Franco's repression. This follows their initial refusal to help after they received the first request from judge Baltasar Garzón. It gives the organisation an opportunity to demonstrate that all this talk about ethics isn't just for show. Of particular interest is the situation of the Valle de los Caidos, the massive mausoleum and eyesore built into the Sierra de Guadarrama near Madrid. The remains that were brought there following instructions from the dictatorship came from the Republican side too, and Garzón is now seeking access to the documentation held there. Accounts of those with some inside knowledge of this still secretive institution suggest that the human remains brought there were mixed together and are probably difficult to retrieve.

Meanwhile Garzón has now received a list of of over 143,000 names of victims of the repression both during and after the Civil War in Spain. This is not a definitive list, in many provinces the associations who have investigated the issue are still compiling information. The judge has now widened his request to include information on some of those killed by the Republican side. Whether this has been done to try and get the Church to help is unclear, in general the information on these victims is much easier to obtain as they were given full honours by Franco's regime rather than just being left to rot in mass graves. The key moment is still to come, when Garzón has to make a decision on whether there is a case to pursue.


Tom said...

I'm sure the church made a mistake when they refused the first request. All that 'children of god' rubbish has to mean something, after all.

As to the valley of the fallen, I remember that the PSOE said something about changing the whole place, establishing a museum, making it 'ecumenical' in a political sense... any word on that?

Graeme said...

Let's be charitable and assume that's the reason. On the valley of the fallen it seems that nothing is happening, the government doesn't appear to know what to do about it - I could offer some suggestions.