Monday, November 03, 2014

Justice for Spain

Since the death of Franco and the restoration of democracy, Spain has consistently failed to confront its fascist past. Those guilty of crimes against humanity under the dictatorship have been allowed to get on with their lives in peace, protected by an illegitimate amnesty law. At the same time, Spain became a leader in international human rights law, and Spanish judges were crucial in gaining justice for the victims of South America's dictatorships.

Now Argentina is returning the favour:

An Argentinian judge has opened old wounds from Spain’s dictatorship by ordering some of General Franco’s former ministers to face justice for alleged killings. Groups campaigning for justice for people tortured and killed under Francisco Franco hailed the “historic” move to demand the extradition of 20 Spanish officials including several ex-ministers.

They have also welcomed moves to investigate allegations that hundreds of thousands of babies were stolen from left-wing and unmarried mothers under the dictatorship.

Buenos Aires judge, Maria Servini de Cubria, issued the arrest and extradition warrants invoking “universal jurisdiction”, a legal doctrine that authorises judges to try serious rights abuses committed in other countries.

One of the lawyers acting for the plaintiffs, Carlos Slepoy, said it was the first time former ministers of the regime were targeted under universal jurisdiction.

Good. The fascists are estimated to have murdered between 150,000 and 400,000 people during the White Terror. Its time they were held to account for that. And if Spain won't do it, then someone else will have to.