Relatives of Navarrese Franco prisoners file the first complaint for slave labor

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These are families of prisoners who built the road between Igal, Vidángoz and Roncal, under the assumption that it was slave labor and as such were victims of ‘crimes against humanity’.

Twelve relatives of republican prisoners filed the first complaint of slave labor during the Franco regime at the Aoiz Court, so that “what international law considers a crime against humanityis also recognized by the courts of the Spanish State”.

This was announced at a press conference in Pamplona by the spokesperson of the complainants and son of one of the prisoners, Balen Esteban, the spokesperson of the State Coordinator for Support of the Argentine Complaint (CEAQUA), Sabino Cuadra, the representative of the Association Memoriaren Bideak , Ana Barrena, and the lawyer Jacinto Lara.

Lara has acknowledged that the first step is for the Aoiz court to admit this to the procedure and that will be when they begin to investigate how many charges are being discussed against Franco: “We have identified some, but it is one of the points that must are investigated. “

“He process of the complaint It is uncertain and experience makes us cautious. We hope that it will be accepted for processing, because this is not only a legal issue, but also a political issue, in which the Spanish state has always treated this issue in the same way,” he added.

These are families of prisoners who have done this road between Igal, Vidángoz and Roncaland they present it motivated by the need to “proclaim out loud the dignity of all those they wanted to subjugate” and who are now filing the complaint against those responsible for the Franco military structure.

The forced labor mentioned by the complainants consisted of opening a mountain road between the Pyrenean valleys of Roncal and Salazar, connecting the towns of Roncal, Vidángoz and Igal, over a distance of 17 kilometers.

In Navarre a total of “some 15,000 prisoners and replacement soldiers built various types of bunkers and fortifications and opened four mountain roads.”

As explained by the representative of Memory in BideakLiving conditions were characterized by poor nutrition, hard work and overcrowding in abandoned buildings, tents and wooden barracks with extreme temperatures. “In addition, the disciplinary regime included physical attacks, beatings, extra work and the possibility of immediate executions,” Ana Barrena added.

“There is evidence of the murder of three prisoners accused of attempting to escape, of the deaths of another nine in the Disciplinary Military Hospital of Pamplona, ​​as a result of various diseases or accidents, and of another death under unclear circumstances ,” he noted.

The relatives ask for respect and recognition, to establish the truth, ‘including the judicial truth’. “Our society owes an outstanding debt to these prisoners and to the democratic values ​​it claims to uphold. It is not acceptable for the current impunity to continue. We daughters, sons and relatives want, and it is time, the truth. justice and reparation so that these crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be repeated.”

With the aim of promoting the recovery of memory, in 2004 the collective Memoriaren Bideak began to pay tribute to those who worked on that road, by erecting a monolith on the summit of Igal-Vidángoz.

Source: EITB

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