Spanish Senate reviews crimes of Franco era

30.05.2017, Spain.

On May 30, the Spanish Senate in Madrid reviewed the case of illegal adoptions and kidnapping of children during the Franco regime, Rosa Primavera News Agency reports.

The Senate’s hearings should provide an opportunity to talk publicly about the crimes of the past years. It will also recall that thousands of pending and unsettled suits of such cases have not yet been recognized by Spanish courts. Currently, many Spaniards who survived abduction wish to meet their biological parents to find their families.

The participants of the hearings said that the victims of the crimes of the Franco regime and the Catholic Church, which lasted for decades, are still not legally protected. According to Spanish laws, every citizen has the right to know about his or her origin. However, de facto this constitutional right is not secured at present.

Eduardo Via Torres, a lawyer from Valencia, and a victim of abduction said that, in 2010, more than 267 suits were filed in court. After that, the number of court applications began to grow like an avalanche. At the moment, there are about three thousand lawsuits under court consideration. However, these claims are not properly investigated. A verdict of guilty was attained only in one case – against gynecologist Eduardo Vela, who, even so, was released from prison due to his advanced age. The lawyer added that the Prosecutor’s Office simply archives the lawsuits for lack of evidence, without even calling witnesses to testify. Many witnesses openly admit that they bought their adopted children.

Eduardo Via Torres also said, “We talk about this at the UN, we go to the European Parliament, we involve the European Court of Human Rights, but the matter still stands still. In Strasbourg, the case was opened just to show that the Court did something. But so far, no progress was being made.”

Consuelo García del Cid, a researcher and publicist, states that the number of child abductions has not diminished after the transition to democracy. Today not only church organizations and mafia structures are engaged in this, but also the official authorities, who work through various social services. Spanish courts remain deaf to the cases which are taking place today, as well as to the crimes committed in the past during the Franco’s regime.

On May 22 a delegation of members of the European Parliament visited Spain and met with representatives of the Ministry of Justice in Madrid to investigate cases of child abductions in various hospitals in the period between the 60s and the 90s. Judith Kirton-Darling, Head of the delegation, said that there is hope that the Spanish authorities will demonstrate more active cooperation to conduct a proper investigation.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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