Sunday, April 25, 2010

If One Fascist Group Should Accidentally Fall

The latest development in the case against Baltasar Garzón for his civil war investigation has been the exclusion of the fascist Falange from the case. For once the judge Luciano Varela got something more or less right when he described the Falange's documentation as mainly consisting of personal and political judgements that had no bearing on legal issues. Sadly, that's a verdict that could easily be applied to the entire case against Garzón, including Varela's own interventions. However, Varela did something very odd before dropping the Falange from the case. Instead of doing what judges would normally do in this situation, simply dismiss the case presented, he gave the fascists a day to adjust their documentation and advised them how to do it. Despite this irregular judicial assistance the Falange still wasn't able to do the job. Garzón's defence has promptly appealed against Varela's handling of this issue, claiming that it shows his lack of impartiality. At the same time the state prosecution service has also presented its arguments rejecting the case against Garzón. None of this is likely to prevent Varela from proceeding with his case, the Supreme Court judges seem determined to bring it to trial based solely on the accusations of the remaining plaintiffs. Despite the absence of the Falange, there are still two very right wing groups sitting on the wall.

Yesterday I attended the demonstration in Madrid organised in support of Garzón and justice for the victims of Franco's repression. It was a beautiful afternoon in Madrid and the route between Cibeles and the Puerta del Sol was a mass of republican flags, placards and photos of some of the victims. The march finished with speeches from various public figures including Pedro Almodóvar, Almudena Grandes and Reed Brody from Human Rights Watch. The speeches were followed by a dignified minute of silence in a packed Puerta del Sol. Below are some of the photos I took during the demonstration.


Troy said...

unfortunately a much smaller affair out here in Caceres, but an affair all the same.

lost said...

It seems like it would be a crazy precedent to allow a judge to help write the prosecution's case.

Coco said...

I went down and was pleased to see it well attended.

Did it seem to you that the majority were people 50 or older? I´m concerned that IU and PSOE don´t seem to be motivating the younger demographic.

Your blog is a huge help in deciphering Spanish political issues. Thank you.

Graeme said...


Well, it gets worse. I didn't realise until I read a bit more this morning that the accusation presented by Manos Limpias had actually been directly copied from one of Varela's own documents; typographical errors included. So Varela had to tell them to reword it too, just in case anyone might think that he was directing the case against Garzón - heaven forbid that anyone should reach such a conclusion. Luckily for Varela they did this, because without Manos Limpias there would no longer be any case at all. Varela needs them there.


I don't know if the majority was so old but I take your point. I didn't do much to bring down the average age myself. I suppose you have to take into account the presence of many relatives of the disappeared. Thanks for the kind comments about the blog

Lee said...

I just love how the PP is labeling all the pro-Garzon activity as "anti-democratic". By what twisted logic do they see public reaction and peaceful demonstrations as against the democracy??

JANE said...

I was there in Madrid too (took an hour and a half to walk from Cibeles to Sol!), and actually thought that it was good to see so many younger people out - tho' yes, there were plenty of older people which stands to reason. I was next to a man of 77 who'd never known his father and said he'd never been on a demo before - he'd come on his own, with his father's photo and death certificate ('fusilado') on a placard.