Crime & Justice

Spain withdraws decorations for Franco era police officers

Madrid, Dec 30 (EFE).- Spain’s left-wing coalition government has said it will withdraw police decorations awarded to officers who were involved in state repression under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska’s decision is based on the new Law of Democratic Memory, which came into force in October, the ministry said.

General Francisco Franco, led a military uprising in 1936 against the socialist government of the Second Spanish Republic, and after winning the civil war in 1939 he imposed a dictatorial regime that lasted until his death in 1975.

The officers affected by the decree include former police inspector Antonio González Pacheco, known as Billy the Kid, who was accused of torture and was awarded four medals of honor during his career. He died of Covid in May 2020.

Police sources told EFE that at least seven files have been identified, four related to civil guards and three to national police officers.

Grande-Marlaska’s order also applies to Franco era prison guards and the rest of the interior ministry’s general directorates.

In addition to the review of police decorations, Grande-Marlaska has ordered a commission to be set up to study and analyze the application and effects of the Law of Democratic Memory, which concerns the legacy of the dictatorship.

Among other matters, the commission will introduce a draft reform that would allow for the dissolution or banning of Franco apologist associations or charities that attack the dignity of the regime’s victims and incite hatred or violence against them.

The commission will also review the removal of Francoist or anti-democratic symbols from buildings used by centers and departmental units that rely on the interior ministry. EFE


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