Sun, Oct 13, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Spain resists taking action against Franco-era crimes

AFP, MADRID

“The amnesty can’t serve as a barrier to the investigation of serious human rights violations,” said Ariel Dulitzky, a member of the UN working group which spent a week in Spain interviewing family members of those who disappeared.

Garzon, who was disbarred as a judge by Spain’s Supreme Court last year for illegally recording defense lawyers’ conversations with clients, argued international laws against the worst human rights violations should trump the national amnesty.

The Popular Party, which traces its origines to the Popular Alliance, a union of seven conservative political parties formed in the 1970s by Manuel Fraga, a longtime Cabinet member under Franco, is reluctant to act because of its historical ties to the dictatorship, said Fermin Bouza, a sociologist at Madrid’s Complutense University.

“The government is of the right and it is a government that comes from that regime, in that sense it is normal that they have that reluctance,” he said.

Spanish Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, whose father-in-law was a Cabinet minister in the Franco regime, recently defended the amnesty law in parliament, calling it “the only consistent policy that can end this past of civil war and crusades.”

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