The mortal remains of the founder of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, will be exhumed this Monday, around 9:00 a.m., from the Cuelgamuros Valley (whose previous official name was Valle de los Caídos) and relocated to the San Isidro, in Madrid. It will be his fifth burial since he was shot after being tried by the Republican authorities in 1936 in the Alicante jail, 86 years ago.
As reported by RTVE, the work for the exhumation will begin at 5:30 in the morning. The operations must first remove the tombstone, after which the state of the coffin and the skeleton of the Falange founder will be checked. At the moment, no details have been given about the transfer to the Madrid cemetery of San Isidro, the place chosen by the descendants of José Antonio Primo de Rivera for his new burial.
The founder of the Falange was shot in 1936 in Alicante after being sentenced to death by a Republican court just after the start of the Civil War. After the victory of the national side, Francisco Franco ordered its exhumation first in 1939 destined for a cemetery in the Madrid town of El Escorial and then, again, its transfer to the Valley of the Fallen in 1959, after completing the construction of the basilica thanks to the work sentences that fell on thousands of republican prisoners. The same dictator was buried on the other side of the altar of the basilica in 1975. Franco was buried in front of Primo de Rivera, despite the fact that neither one nor the other showed any sympathy during his lifetime.
Along with them, more than 33,000 victims of the Civil War were first exhumed from common graves and then buried in the Francoist mausoleum, thousands of them from the Republican side without the consent of their relatives. This is the pending issue that remains for the Government of the PSOE and Unidas Podemos in its purpose of redesigning the old Valley of the Fallen, now baptized as Cuelgamuros.
Democratic Memory Law
Precisely this Monday marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of the Falangist leader, on April 24, 1903, whose mortal remains are exhumed in compliance with the Democratic Memory Law, which came into force last October, and after an agreement with his relatives. “It is one more step in the redefinition of the Valley,” said the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, last week, who also indicated that he would not be present during the exhumation process, since the family has requested that the transfer take place in the strictest privacy.
Primo de Rivera is transferred after his family anticipated the approval of the Memory Law and requested his departure, before the Cuelgamuros Valley became a civil cemetery. As indicated by the request of his relatives, he left written in his will that he wanted to be buried according to the rite of the Catholic religion “in holy ground and under the protection of the Holy Cross.” To avoid Falangist concentrations, the venue will remain closed to the public, although Primo de Rivera’s supporters, who describe the move as “desecration”, plan to gather at the San Isidro cemetery.
Franco and Queipo de Llano
The tomb of Primo de Rivera is located on the opposite side of the altar where that of the dictator Francisco Franco was located, who was also transferred by decision of the Government of Pedro Sánchez in October 2019. His remains were relocated to the Mingorrubio cemetery.
Franco was not the first to be exhumed. The remains of General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano were removed last November from the preferential place whose tomb he occupied in the Sevillian Basilica of La Macarena. Article 38.3 of the Democratic Memory Law stipulates that “the mortal remains of leaders of the 1936 military coup may not be or remain buried in a prominent place of public access, other than a cemetery, which may favor the performance of public acts of exaltation, exaltation or commemoration of human rights violations committed during the War or the Dictatorship”.
Queipo de Llano promoted the construction of this Catholic temple. He was also the author of a brutal repression that claimed more than 12,000 lives in the province of Seville and close to another 50,000 in Andalusia. He left for posterity radio speeches in which he harangued soldiers to rape Republican women to show them what he was “a real man.” This exhumation was immediate as soon as the new 2022 standard was published in the BOE, which reinforced the one already approved in 2007 under the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, already anticipated that the day after the publication in the BOE of this reform, the exhumation process of Francoist figures buried in public places would be undertaken.
Sanjurjo and Mola were the first exhumed
Sanjurjo was the protagonist of a failed coup in 1932, known as ‘Sanjurjada’, after which he had to go into exile in Portugal. He died in a plane crash after taking off from Estoril en route to Burgos, the city to which he was traveling to join the 1936 uprising supported by other soldiers such as General Mola, who also died in a plane crash in 1937. Alleged leaders of the rebellion, Franco was the great beneficiary of their deaths, like that of José Antonio Primo de Rivera.
The coup generals José Sanjurjo (1872-1936) and Emilio Mola (1887-1937) were buried in a crypt of the Monument to the Fallen in Pamplona. His remains were exhumed from her in 2016 by decision of the City Council of the Navarrese capital, then governed by Bildu, in application of the Law of Historical Memory of the Foral Community. The remains of Sanjurjo were transferred in an army helicopter from Pamplona to Melilla.
#remains #Primo #Rivera #exhumed #Monday #Cuelgamuros #Valley