The first victim of the Franco regime to testify before the judge: “The wall of silence and impunity is beginning to break”

A Spanish court heard for the first time the complaint of a victim of police torture during the Franco dictatorship. In just over an hour and a half, Julio Pacheco and Rosa María García told the magistrate of Madrid’s Plaza de Castilla about the torture that the former claimed to have suffered in 1975 at the hands of several policemen of the Political-Social Brigade. “The wall of silence and impunity that we have with Franco’s regime is starting to break down,” Pacheco explained at the exit.

The petitioner is surrounded by half a hundred people with banners and messages against impunity for the crimes of the dictatorship and a mural with the message “Let’s break the wall of impunity”. It was Pacheco and Garcia’s second attempt to tell a judge what happened in 1975: Their last statement was put on hold, though it was scheduled for last July.

To date, Pacheco and other victims of police torture during the dictatorship have only been able to explain what happened on the other side of the Atlantic, when Argentine judge Maria Cervini decided to open an investigation that ended with several failed attempts to extradite the police chief. time..

Today they were able to do so in the 50th Court of Madrid, which is investigating whether retired Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo and other agents participated in the torture against this complainant. “For the first time, when a judge listens to you and listens to you in court, it means that there can be more, that it can start in some way and to obtain justice in the Spanish state, I hope so, I think we are going to go slowly, but the first step has been taken,” Pacheco explained in the exit .

This statement, which was planned for last July, was attended not only by the prosecutor of the case and the head of the court, but also by a representative of the prosecutor’s office specializing in democratic memory, although he did not ask questions during the interrogation and was limited to that. taking notes.

In recent years, various appeals and complaints about alleged crimes committed during the dictatorship have been allowed to be heard, but have failed because the judges understand that the facts are old or, directly, that they were neutralized by the 1977 amnesty. In this sense, Pacheco hopes that the 50th Court of Madrid will now call the accused police officers to testify so that he can question them.

Source: El Diario

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