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Child killed by father will officially not carry murderer's surname

2-year-old found dead in hotel was first fatality registered in Catalonia as a crime aiming to cause pain to mother

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12 May 2022 11:45 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

A child killed by his father last August has officially had the murderer’s surname removed from their name. 

The two-year-old was found dead in a Barcelona hotel and his father escaped the scene before dying by suicide some hours later near the Llobregat river delta. 

This is the first fatality registered in Catalonia as a murder aiming to cause pain to the child's mother, thus it is considered gender-based violence

The defense of the minor's mother called on authorities to see his father's surname officially removed from the child's name, and Spain's justice minister, Pilar Llop, granted the request "for exceptional reasons and as a matter of urgency because the issue needs immediate reparation."

This is "an essential act to repair his mother emotionally, psychologically, and socially," the defense said. 

The lawyers who made the request, Carla Vall and Maria Ariste, said that "a pioneering path of restorative justice has now been opened for other mothers in Spain" who suffered the loss of their children in similar circumstances. 

They now urge lawmakers to change legislation so that the change can be done immediately so that the victims’ funerals can be done without the fathers’ surnames. 

In Catalonia, as well as the rest of Spain, individuals have by default two surnames: one coinciding with their father's surname, and the other with their mother's – while parents are now free to choose the order of their child's surnames, the father's one came first by law for centuries. The current trend is still to have the father's surname – the most commonly used if giving the full name is not required – first in order.

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  • Spain's justice minister, Pilar Llop, talking to the press on October 27, 2021 (by Spanish government)

  • Spain's justice minister, Pilar Llop, talking to the press on October 27, 2021 (by Spanish government)

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