Spain’s inaction in reparations for Civil War and dictatorship crimes “alarming,” UN says

The whereabouts of more than 114,000 people remain unknown 40 years after the end of Franco's regime

Skeleton found in mass grave in Vilanova del Meià (by Estela Busoms)
Skeleton found in mass grave in Vilanova del Meià (by Estela Busoms) / ACN

ACN | Brussels

September 12, 2017 02:47 PM

Spain has failed to investigate the disappearances of civilians during the Civil War (1936-1939) and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975) according to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. Its last report, published on Monday, states that Spain’s inaction is “alarming” and “especially worrying”.

Most of the requirements outlined in 2013 by the UN’s previous report have not yet been addressed, thus leaving families of the victims “to their own devices”. “To date, the Spanish state has not acted with either the urgency or the celerity needed in the matter of forced disappearances and it has also not assumed a leadership role to ensure a state policy in this issue, as was recommended,” read the report.

In 2013, the UN had already urged Spain to act immediately “given the lapse of time since most of the enforced disappearances began and the advanced age of many of the witnesses and family members”. As time passes without due action, the situation is “even more alarming”.