UN: Spain should prosecute Franco regime criminals

"There is no impediment to try and convict those responsible"

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur for the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and the guarantee of non-repetition, Argentinean Fabián Salvioli, described the decision to exhume dictator Francisco Franco from the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) as "positive", and urged the government of PM Pedro Sánchez to take more steps in defense of the victims of the dictatorship. He said this in a statement to journalists at the doors of the Spanish parliament, where he was accompanied by the parliamentary groups of Podemos, ERC, and the PNB, as well as Compromís and EH Bildu.

Salvioli stressed that the exhumation of the dictator is "a positive step" and recalled that his predecessor in office, Colombian Pablo de Greiff, had already pointed out in his previous visit to Spain in 2014 that steps needed to be taken in this direction to, among other things, give new meaning to the Valle de los Caídos so that it does not continue to be a "shameful" monument for victims of the Franco regime.

But it is a step, according to Salvioli, that must be "continued" in other areas, which include the need to make "full reparations" to all victims, "to avoid getting in the way of" the complaints being filed in others countries such as Argentina, and to comply with the obligation to extradite or prosecute those responsible for violations of human rights committed during the dictatorship.

"There is no impediment"

"There is no impediment in national or international law to try and convict those responsible [for the crimes of the Franco regime]," said the UN rapporteur before meeting with the lower chamber’s intergroup on historical memory.

Salvioli also attended Congress on Tuesday to give a lecture on the situation of impunity for the crimes of the dictatorship and the Civil War in Spain in relation to the directives that the previous UN rapporteur, Pablo de Greiff, had delivered to the Mariano Rajoy government four years earlier.

His intention, according to the media, is to "cooperate" on the subject of historical memory to emphasize the measures that Spain must take to guarantee memory, justice, reparations, and non-repetition guarantees to victims of the dictatorship.

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