Online project: www.politicasdelolvido.com
The particular interest of the new sovereign forces – the victors of history, if you will – exists in the deactivation and discredit of the alternate memories that do not align with the official narrative, specifically those which fight to create a more accurate account of the past. This attempt to provide an individual truth, as is the case with the Spanish transición, reveals a will to conceal. Power promotes a certain type of historic memory over the past which hampers alternative forms of interpretation and takes cover through the explicit desire to construct effective politics of disremembrance.
Despite the State’s attempt to appear calm and orderly during the years of the transición, violent and repressive activity on behalf of General Franco’s army sought to neutralize the social and political sectors that advocated for an alternative to the dictator’s regime, especially those that sought the democratization of government positions the franquistas held.
These forces continued operating and working alongside the institutions set up by the new system for various years, limiting and hindering its capacity to function properly. One paradigmatic example was the public complaint on behalf of police agents against their superiors for the torture of detainee María Luz Prieto in the Spanish town of Valladolid. The aftermath of the commplaint led to the persecution of the unionized members of police (Unión Sindical de Policías) while the old members of the police force (the franquista branch or BPS) were awarded with substancial raises.
The political violence generated from within or alongside the State manifested itself in three main categories: “State terrorism” (also known by certain authors as a “dirty war” or “mercenary terrorism”), “Uncontrolled or ultra right-wing terrorism”, and “Repressive policing”.
Politics of Disremembrance brings forth the mortal victims of this period, taking under consideration the criteria of the First Congress for the Victims of the Franquismo Period (I Congreso de Víctimas del Franquismo) created by the Memory and Community Forum of Madrid, as well as the Federal Memory Forum Federation (Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria) of April 2012. The timeline which comprises the project is divided into five victim typologies, such as death by execution (José Humberto Baena, José Luis Sánchez Bravo, Ramón García Sanz, Juan Paredes Manot and Ángel Otaegui – the last five men executed by the regime in Madrid, Barcelona and Burgos the 27 of September of 1975), death by trigger happy officers (victims of officers who faced no real threat when the occurance took place), death by political repression, death by torture, and finally, death by ultra right-wing State terrorism.