Catalan government gives first official pardon to those imprisoned during Franco regime
More than 66,000 families will receive the certificate absolving those who were prosecuted for political motives during the dictatorship
The government delivered this Friday the first document officially exonerating a victim of Franco’s justice system, nullifying the politically motivated trial held against him and legally clearing his name, following a law passed by parliament on June 29.
The Minister of Justice, Carles Mundó, handed over the certificate to Araceli Aiguaviva, the widow of Catalan journalist Josep Maria Huertas Claveria.
Huertas Claveria, who passed away in 2007, was imprisoned in 1975 for publishing an article entitled “Underground erotic life” in the newspaper ‘Tele / eXpress’ which revealed how a large number of brothels in Barcelona were in fact run by military widows.
The certificate officially clears Huertas Claveria of any charges made against him during the dictatorship, specifically charges of a political nature. It is the first official pardon of many more to come.
"We will return dignity, which has never been lost, to the 66,590 families"
Carles Mundó · Catalan Minister of Justice
“We will return dignity, which has never been lost, to the 66,590 families,” said Mundó.
Huertas Claveria was a symbol of freedom of expression during times of repression, emblematic of anti-Franco sentiments. According to his widow, this recognition “is very important for all the families affected.”
Mundó acknowledged that there are many other families throughout the whole of Spain who deserve to receive a certificate of this kind.
On June 29, parliament unanimously voted in favor of nullifying politically motivated death penalties and prison sentences handed out by military courts in Catalonia during the Franco regime, declaring the military courts as illegal.
The courts of the Army Audit and Occupation Army, later known as the Audit of the Fourth Military Region, operated in Catalonia from 1938 to 1978, were found to be “contrary to the law and to violate the most basic demands of the right to a fair trial.”
Other victims of the regime were democratically elected Catalan president Lluís Companys, who was executed in 1940, as well as anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, who was killed by garrote, a banned method of execution due to its barbarity, only one year before Franco’s death.
Families and victims interested in obtaining the certificate of pardon will be able to do so as of next Tuesday, either by presenting themselves at Citizen’s Advice offices, by calling 012, or via the Ministry of Justice’s website.