A judge opens the door to exhume the bodies in the Valle de los Caidos

A court in San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Madrid) first recognized “the right to a dignified burial” of two victims of the Franco regime and declared that “comes the realization of the relevant proceedings” so that his remains be exhumed from the cemetery the Valley of the Fallen, where they were transferred in 1959 from Calatayud and delivered to the family that claim after DNA analysis.

The order of the Court of First Instance No. 2 of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, already strong, is that for the first time the right “to decent burial” of a victim of the Franco regime be recognized and to proceed to an exhumation in the main monument raised by Francisco Franco, opened on April 1, 1959 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

To achieve this milestone, granddaughter and grandniece of the victims, Maria Purification Lapeña, and his lawyer, Eduardo Ranz, they exhausted the criminal proceedings, until arriving to Strasbourg, but found the wall that is the inability to prosecute the culprit crime. Rather than let it go, the November 20, 2014 attended the civil courts, in particular, the procedure “for approval and notarization of information perpetuam ad memoriam”. They were lucky, because demand has continued, although the reform of Voluntary Jurisdiction Act 1881 was amended in July last year and annulled the articles contemplated “information notarization of perpetual memory.” So Ranz is pessimistic about the way that this lawyer 31 years has used can be used by the relatives of other victims of Francoism.

However, legal sources believe that the reform made in the Voluntary Jurisdiction does not necessarily lead to closure of this route, because, although the procedure ad perpetuam memoriam was abolished, Article 1 of the Standard was open to any legal claim without the tagline of “contained in this law,” which could apply to similar claims.

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