It has been more than a year, in July 2020, that from Izquierda Unida and Podemos we wrote an article urgently demanding the need for a law for victims of Francoism that would guarantee, once and for all, their right to the truth, the justice and comprehensive reparation. After just two months, the Government approved the Draft Democratic Memory Law, initiating the legal path that will culminate with the approval of the Law in the Congress of Deputies and its subsequent publication in the BOE.
How could it be otherwise, at that time we congratulate ourselves for the step taken and for the clear progress made by this draft with respect to the Memory Law approved in 2007 under the presidency of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The preliminary draft included many of the measures that were in the proposed law that our Parliamentary Group registered during the XII legislature, but we understood that there was still room to improve the text and for this we took a stand.
This week, at last, the term for amendments to the articles of this bill has been closed in Congress. Along the way, the mandatory reports necessary to convert the preliminary draft into a project have passed, some of them with controversy included, such as that of the General Council of the Judiciary, as it cannot be otherwise in a body that has expired for more than 1000 days. the formal and outdated in terms of their pronouncements as much or more. The usual outbursts of the right and the extreme right were not lacking either during the debate for consideration in Congress, an anticipation of what we can expect from this bloc during its parliamentary process.
Meanwhile, Unidos Podemos has been doing constructive work, working on coherent and realistic amendments to improve the text and to attract the other leg of the Government, the PSOE, towards the most advanced positions. With the agreement reached and the joint registration of 30 amendments, important advances are made compared to the bill registered in July this year.
We have never doubted that one of the most important aspects of this law would be to end impunity for Francoist crimes. With the amendments made to the explanatory memorandum and to article 2, it will be established that all the laws of the State, including the Amnesty Law of 1977, must be interpreted in accordance with international humanitarian law, according to which “crimes of war, against humanity, genocide and torture are considered imprescriptible and not amnestiable. ” This represents a historical turning point that should make it possible to judge the crimes of the Franco regime because the Amnesty Law can never again be used as an excuse.
This measure is accompanied by the creation of an office for victims of the dictatorship to inform, advise and accompany them in the claim of their legitimate rights, measures are also included to avoid the blocking of exhumations in an arbitrary manner and the regulation of the state bank is expanded of victims’ DNA to make it more operational. In addition, it is specified that the prosecutor of the human rights and democratic memory room will address the investigation of the events that took place on the occasion of the coup, the war and the dictatorship, all for the sake of justice and the end of impunity of the crimes of the Franco regime.
As there can be no justice if there is no, as far as possible, reparation, we introduce a paragraph in the articles of the law in which it is established that the victims of the dictatorship have the right to recognition and comprehensive reparation by the state. Likewise, the right to compensation for seized assets and economic sanctions is recognized, for which the Council of Ministers is summoned to create a technical commission so that, within one year, it prepares a proposal on reparation measures of a nature. economic for the victims of the dictatorship
But the improvements are many more and not minor. The scope of the law itself is broadened by these amendments in three aspects that United We can always consider essential: recognition of the victims until December 31, 1982, that the census of victims includes survivors and that it be extended to descendants of international brigade members the possibility of requesting Spanish nationality.
There is also good news for researchers and teachers since, with the modifications introduced, the right to historical investigation of the crimes of the Franco regime is guaranteed against possible allegations about the “right to honor” of already deceased persons who had participated in the commission thereof; A reference is added to the need to introduce content on Memory in textbooks and curricular materials and interesting proposals are collected from professional archivists on the treatment of documentation related to the crimes of the Franco regime, to guarantee free and free access to the archives, both public and private and, very importantly, the recovery of archives of the dictatorship in power at this moment of private entities.
Finally, other measures are collected that, despite their symbolic character, or precisely because of that, are no less important, such as the change of name from Valle de los Caídos to Valle de Cuelgamuros, recovering the original toponymy, or the improvement of the procedure for the revocation of honorary distinctions in the bodies and security forces of the State and the suppression of the nobility titles granted to 33 personages of the Franco regime.
At United We Can, we have made an effort to agree on what is essential. We believe that there is still room for improvement, for example, in the concretion of the procedure for the declaration of invalidity of the repressive sentences of the Franco regime or the regulatory development of the measures that are contemplated. Our parliamentary group will work to reach a broad agreement with all progressive forces that will allow for an agile and effective implementation. We commit to continue working with those who supported the inauguration so that the text becomes law as soon as possible.
Aware of the urgency of developing public policies from memory, we believe that for the moment we are making steady progress on the right path towards the achievement of a Law that is at the height of the dignity of the victims of Francoism.