Government approves new law to bring ‘justice and dignity’ for victims of the Civil War and dictatorship

The area that previously housed Franco’s tomb will be ‘repurposed’

The Spanish government approved another landmark historic memory law on Wednesday October 5. The legislation builds on laws originally created from 2007 and aim to bring justice for the victims of the Spanish Civil War and subsequent dictatorship under Franco.

Measures contained in the law include a national DNA bank and a purpose-made census to facilitate easier location and identification of victims’ remains. The ‘Valley of the Fallen’ area where Franco’s body lay for 44 years prior to its exhumation in 2019 will also be ‘redefined’ to provide a more comprehensive historical account of the Civil War and dictatorship. The law also bans any glorification of the Franco regime or the dictator himself.

The legislation was approved with 128 votes in favour, 113 votes against it and 13 abstentions. Adoption of the law was led by Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE, who praised the move on Twitter saying, “we have taken another step towards justice, reparation and dignity for all the victims.”

The Spanish Civil War and its commemoration remains a polarising topic in Spain due to differing accounts of historical memory and political opinion.