Franco’s Lingering Presence

In July 2020 the right-wing coalition governing Motril rejected a motion by the opposition to take back a municipal medal awarded to Franco.

MOT Franco's Medal 02The medal had been awarded during the dictatorship by the then Mayor because of: “la adhesión inquebrantable del ayuntamiento y del vecindario a su egregia figura.” (The unbreakable bond between the Town Hall/Motrileños and His Brilliant Figure).

According to the local Spokeswoman for the IU-EQUO opposition party, the “attempted solemnity of the commemorative acts (The 6th is the Day of the Constitution), presided over by Mayor Luisa García Chamorro, would be necessarily muddied by this circumstance, as well as putting into doubt her sincerity towards Democracy.”

In other words, the Mayor celebrating the arrival of Democracy which followed the death of the dictator in 1975 lacks credibility if she insists on maintaining a pro-dictator award granted by Motril.

The said Spokeswoman, Inma Omiste, said, “we would truly be able to celebrate Democracy and all that it means when Motrileños wouldn’t have to walk along streets named after the fascist cruiser, Crucero Baleares, which bombarded the town of Motril during the war and refugees fleeing along the coastal road [in 1937].”

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There is also a school named after Franco-era Mayor: Antonio Garvayo Dinelli (mayor 1957-1960) and the personal pilot of Franco, Capitán Carlos de Haya. The general hospital in Málaga bore that name (Hospital Carlos de Haya) but it was later changed to Hospital Regional Universitario. To be fair, he set several aviation records and invented an integral gyroscope used both in Spain and France. He was not Motril born  nor ever lived there.

According to the IU-Equo, Constitution Day on the 6th of December should commemorate all those that fought to preserve democracy against the military uprising and those that suffered torture and execution during the years of the dictatorship because of their democratic ideals.

Editorial comment: the Ley de Memoría Histórica clearly states that all Franco-era monuments, plaques (street names etc) and medals should be removed but in many towns where the Spanish right wing control the municipal governments this has not been carried out. Motril is a case in point.

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada)

  1 comment for “Franco’s Lingering Presence

  1. Fred Davies
    December 4, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    It’s simply outrageous that such Francoist honours remain. I don’t advocate obliterating them rather change them and put them in the local museum and explain why they have been removed. It’s incredible how some still think Franco fought the good fight….he rebelled against a duly elected democratic government but was canny enough to persuade Hitler, Mussolini and his supporters, including the moors, that they were fighting communists and atheists

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