Spanish government promises declaration of ‘reparation and recognition’ for Salvador Puig Antich

Democratic memory minister calls 1974 execution of Anti-Francoist activist “deplorable” and “cruel”

Flowers on the floor of La Model prison in memory of Salvador Puig Antich 50 years on from his execution
Flowers on the floor of La Model prison in memory of Salvador Puig Antich 50 years on from his execution / Pol Solà
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 13, 2024 01:05 PM

March 13, 2024 01:08 PM

On Wednesday, the Spanish Minister of Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres announced that the Spanish government will make a declaration of ”reparation and personal recognition” to the family of anti-Francoist activist Salvador Puig Antich, as it did with former Catalan president Lluis Companys, who was executed by the regime.

“Mr. Salvador Puig Antich was sentenced without any guarantees by a war council that was not a competent court,” said Torres, adding that the execution by garrote, a device that strangles the victim, was “deplorable”, “cruel” and “politically motivated by the regime.” 

Torres also stressed that today’s Spain “has nothing to do” with Francoist Spain, as the death penalty was abolished when the new democratic constitution came into effect in 1978, and in military criminal legislation even in times of war in 1995.

Another way to move away from Spain’s fascist history, according to Torres, has been the approval of the Law of Historic Memory and the Law of Democratic Memory. 

The latter annulled the sentences by the war council, such as that of Puig Antich.

The announcement comes after Eduard Pujol, MP for the pro-independence party Junts per Catalunya, urged the Spanish state to officially apologize for the 1974 execution of Puig Antich, only days after the 50th anniversary of the activist’s execution at Barcelona’s prison La Model at the hands of the Franco regime.

Before his execution, Puig Antich was a member of the Iberian Liberation Movement (MIL), an anarchist group that robbed banks to finance its activities. The activist was arrested in Barcelona on September 25, 1973, after participating in a bank robbery in the northern Catalan city of Girona. During his arrest, a police officer was killed and Puig Antich was sentenced to death.

He was the last person to be put to death in Barcelona's notorious La Model prison, and for years, his family has been seeking justice.

Anarchist Salvador Puig Antich was the last person to be executed in Barcelona's La Model prison by the Franco regime in 1974. He would be 75 years old if he were still alive today. Instead, his family, and Catalan society, are marking 50 years since his death at the hands of the regime. / Catalan News