Tuesday, September 28

The tomb of María Domínguez, the first democratic mayor of Spain, will be declared a Place of Memory

The Government of Aragon will declare the grave of María Domínguez, in the Fuendejalón cemetery, a Place of Memory. This space is thus added to the Barranco de la Bartolina and the Benabarre prison, which already have this figure of protection.

On March 2, they found the remains of María Domínguez, the first democratic mayor of Spain, shot by the Francoists in 1936

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The President of Aragon, Javier Lambán, has advanced this today during the act of homage and reinhumation of the remains of María Domínguez, who has been declared Adoptive Daughter of the town. Lambán wanted to preside over the act that puts an end to the intense research work that the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage has promoted, in collaboration with the Fuendejalón City Council and AFAAEM to search and exhume the body of María Domínguez, the first woman to lead a democratic city council in Spain.

In his opinion, “today is an act of justice and a posthumous triumph of ideas, those that wanted to make disappear together with the murdered people,” said the Aragonese president. Lambán recalled that since 1977 meritorious efforts have been made, such as the Amnesty Law and the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which contributed to reconciliation. But then there were pending fringes such as reparation to the memory of the victims and search for their remains, in which progress has been made with the 2007 Historical Memory Law and the Aragonese Democratic Memory Law of 2018, where aid is contemplated for excavations. Similarly, town halls, councils and memorialist associations have held numerous events to repair the memory.

Precisely, in relation to María Domínguez, initiatives have also been promoted such as the award of the Santa Isabel de Portugal medal in 1999 posthumously; the reissue of the book “Opinions of Women”, where their articles are collected, or the constitution of the Foundation of thought and reflection “María Domínguez” in 2004.

Last January, after three days of work, the body of María Domínguez was found in the Fuendejalón cemetery, where she was shot on September 7, 1936. Along with the remains, a comb, four hairpins, two buttons and remains of sandals. The genetic and anthropological analysis commissioned by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage confirmed that the remains found belonged to María Domínguez. Next to her was the body of a male who, however, has not yet been identified.

The Government of Aragon approved the Democratic Memory Law in 2018. Among other issues, the norm contemplated the declaration of places of memory to promote their knowledge. The Aragonese legislation defines the Place of Democratic Memory as “that space, construction or immovable element whose historical meaning is relevant for the explanation of the past of Aragon in terms of participation, defense and fight in favor of democracy in the face of intolerance and dictatorship in the historical framework of the Second Spanish Republic, the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship ”. Until now, the Barranco de la Bartolina (Calatayud) and the Benabarre prison have been declared as such.

The General Directorate of Cultural Heritage issued a Resolution at the beginning of July by which the procedure for the declaration of the grave of María Domínguez Remón of the Fuendejalón Cemetery (Zaragoza), as Asset of Cultural Interest, in the category of Set of Cultural Interest, place of the democratic memory of Aragon. Once the public information period has ended and after the approval of the Provincial Heritage and Urban Planning Commission, the definitive declaration will be published shortly.

Maria Domínguez Remón

María Domínguez was born in Pozuelo de Aragón (Zaragoza), in 1882. Republican and socialist, she worked for social equality, women’s rights and the education of children. She became a teacher in Zaragoza and worked in various destinations.

Since 1916 he wrote in the press, in media such as “Ideal de Aragón”, “Vida nueva” and “El País” and he gained prestige as a lecturer. She published some of her lectures (on feminism, socialism and women, and the future of women’s rights) in a volume entitled “Women’s Opinions”.

Installed in Gallur (Zaragoza) since the 1920s, after the resignation of the full City Council in 1932, she chaired the management commission that took over the municipal government, becoming the first woman to head a democratic city council in Spain.

After the military coup of July 18, 1936, she took refuge in her hometown, where she was betrayed and imprisoned. On September 7 she was shot in Fuendejalón (Zaragoza). A few days before, her second husband, Arturo Romanos, a socialist and Gallur neighbor, had also been assassinated in Tabuenca.

Oral tradition pointed out that his remains had been buried in a grave in the Fuendejalón cemetery.

The Government of Aragon, at the request of the association AFAAEM (Association of Relatives and Friends of the Murdered and Buried in Magallón), took charge, ex officio, the location, exhumation and identification of his remains, as well as the dignity of the space where she and the other victim found in the same grave have now been buried.

On January 29, preliminary surveys were carried out to locate the grave and the body of a woman was exhumed, with a bullet hole in her skull that caused her death.


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