Spanish government targets Franco-era figures buried in Toledo for upcoming exhumations

Spanish government SOURCES have confirmed to reporters that they are already studying the upcoming exhumations of Franco-era military figures, after three coffins were removed from La Macarena basilica in Seville this week.

The exhumations are being carried out under Spain’s recent approval democratic memory law, which was passed by the Socialist Party-led government with the aim of healing some of the open wounds that remain from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the subsequent dictatorship.

According to reports in Spanish media, the government has set its sights on the Alcazar of Toledo, where it is seeking to move the remains of Jaime Milans del Bosch, who died in 1997 aged 82. Milans was not only part of the blue division of volunteers who fought alongside the Nazis, but also the lieutenant general who ordered tanks to the streets of Valencia during the failed coup attempt of 1981 in Spain.

In addition to Milans, the government wants to exhume Franco-era general José Moscardó, who is also buried in the Alcazar crypt. Moscardó was the military governor of the province of Toledo during the Civil War and defended the Alcazar against Republican forces.

The law of democratic memory allows the cancellation of titles and medals which were granted by the regime of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, as well as the annulment of the convictions pronounced by the courts during the dictatorship.

It also clarifies that figures from that era cannot be left buried in public places where they can be praised or glorified. It is this part of the legislation that is used to carry out exhumations.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, the body of General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano was withdrawn from La Macarena in Seville. The remains of his wife, Genoveva Martí, and those of the Auditor General of the Civil War, Francisco Bohórquez Vecina, were also removed from the church.

In 2019, Franco’s body was removed from the Valley of the Fallen monument in Madrid after a vote in favor of exhumation passed in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of Spain’s parliament.

The family of Jose Antonio Primo de Riverawho was the founder of Spain’s fascist Falange party, announced that he would privately remove his remains from the Valley of the Fallen before the Spanish government did.

The Socialist Party promoted a series of historical memory laws while in power, beginning in 2007 when the legislation was passed by the government of then Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The bill recognized the rights of victims on both sides of the civil war and formally condemned the repression of the Franco regime.

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