Symbols of General Franco’s dictatorship disappear from Tenerife’s public spaces

La Orotava Ayuntamiento has followed Santa Cruz in removing symbols of the dictatorship of General Franco, by changing several street names to eradicate the public memory of the regime. Santa Cruz Ayuntamiento has also removed Franco’s designation as Favourite Son of the city, as well as its Gold Medal, both distinctions bestowed in 1939. The moves are in accordance with the Historical Memory Law, passed by Zapatero’s socialist Government in Madrid in October 2007.

The law is intended to condemn Franco’s regime and to recognize and provide aid to the victims of violence during it; to prohibit political events at Franco’s burial place; to remove symbols of the regime from public areas; to grant the right of return and citizenship to any descendants of those who left Spain for political or economic reasons while Franco was in power; and to provide assistance to trace and identify, and provide proper burial for, those who were buried in mass graves during Franco’s regime.

In this last respect, a La Orotava Ayuntamiento commission is considering investigating the Llano de Maja area of Las Cañadas del Teide, where it is thought a mass grave contains the remains of people assassinated during the dictatorship, including the last republican mayor of Santa Cruz. The Council is currently working with the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory and with the Teide National Park to determine which zones should be excavated and to discover any evidence of mass graves. Any bodies located will be subjected to DNA analysis in La Laguna University to see if they can be identified.  El DiaLa Opinion


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