The Catalan minister of justice, Ester Capella, who takes over from Raül Romeva in questions of the country’s historic memory, has announced a new law that will empower her department to remove the Francoist symbols from public buildings, squares and streets of the country, even if opposed by town and city councils. The Generalitat will have the power to annul decorations and rename spaces dedicated to the leaders of the military coup and other figures of the dictatorship.
The new legislation will bring regulations on the excavation of mass or unmarked graves, the legal reparation of the victims and the Democratic Memorial, all under one law. “It’s now or never. If we do not hurry, there will be nothing left. The new law will be a tool to close wounds and bring an end to mourning,” Capella explained yesterday in her first appearance before the parliamentary Justice Commission. “We cannot heal wounds if we live with symbols that have humiliated the victims of the Civil War,” she concluded.
The new law provides for the creation of a Truth Commission that will study, clarify and quantify crimes against humanity, inform the relatives of the victims and aid them in their right to justice. The regulation will address issues between the beginning of the Civil War and the Transition and will emphasize the recognition of groups such as women, LGBT people and stolen babies. Previous legislation will be incorporated into the new law.
Another area of the legislation will be the requirement for centres of education to introduce Historical and Democratic Memory into the school curriculum.