Felipe Moreno Martín

Historical memory: right to truth, justice and reparation
Spain
Catalan and Balearic Network supporting the Argentine Complaint

Coordinator of the Catalan and Balearic Prosecutors of the Argentine Complaint about the crimes of the Franco regime. The Complainants are part of the struggle for the recovery of historical memory in Spain. Many associations and people denounced the crimes of the Franco regime in different courts of the State but the Superior Court ruled that the right to historical memory for the victims of Franco was defined as a private affair. This meant the end of any possibility of the right to truth, justice, and reparation to the Spanish State, and there was a complaint in Argentina. Felipe Moreno, as an anti-Franco militant, was tortured by Juan Carlos González Pacheco -Billy el Niño- and can offer a legal and testimonial vision. He has collaborated with the Department of Cooperation in talks addressed especially to groups of young people explaining this topic and also about the situation of the Sahrawi people, which is a great connoisseur.

Interview with Felipe Moreno Martín

How do you get involved in the Argentine lawsuit?

It is the continuation of my opposition to Francoism. When we saw the failed attempt by Judge Garzón in the request for justice by the families of the victims of the fascist uprising against the Second Republic (period 1936-1952), we understood that in this Kingdom there was no possibility of get neither justice nor reparation. There was also no way that the truth of everything that happened between 1936 and 1978 would be acknowledged. A group of people who had suffered repression with torture and imprisonment in the last period of the Franco regime joined their relatives in the search for justice, on the basis of the right to universal justice.

How did he experience Franco’s death from prison?

I found out because I heard screams and chatter from the other prisoners. In fact, there had already been an eerie silence during the night. The noise gradually defined and differentiated between political and social prisoners. The latter wondered if they would have pardons. The cries of the political prisoners were more specific, and addressed to those of us in solitary confinement. There was also a change in the attitude of the officials. Some were aggressive, fearful of what would happen, and others tried to have a softer approach in case there was a radical change. But that lasted only a few days.

You were released from prison in mid-1976.

My arrest and prison order were based on the Terrorism Prevention Act of August 1975. Franco signed it when he was already seriously ill. It was repealed in early 1979, which confirms that it was created to secure the Transition and suppress all those who opposed it. Reading it should be mandatory in all political organizations that claim to be democratic, because it allows us all to understand that period.

To those of us who were convicted on the basis of this rule, they agreed to release us on bail; we had to fix our residence and appear in court every 15 days. The situation lasted until the beginning of 1979, just like the rule that applied to us. They already had the Transition secured, the political organizations asleep and their leaders as deputies.

Do we live in a country without memory?

Yes. The concept of historical memory is very broad and has many nuances, depending on who interprets it. Sometimes, it’s against the story itself. The Historical Memory Law (Law 52/2007), for example, does not refer to the uprising against a State born in a democratic election and consolidated in subsequent elections, from 1931 to 1936. It presents a struggle between equals, and this distorts the facts. In the cultural or academic field, there are many vague or distorted discourses. There are also voices that deny or slander proven and verified facts. Another aspect is the passivity and obstruction of many public administration institutions. It was the families of the victims or the victims themselves who have taken the initiative to shed public light on the events, researching this period, writing about what happened in towns and cities, and reviewing files often hidden from the population, with much will but few resources.

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