The Junta parks the repair of the figure of García Caparrós despite being the favorite son of Andalusia

The family of Manuel José García Caparrós, killed in Malaga by police shots in a 1977 demonstration by the full autonomy of Andalusia, It is already pending more of what is decided in the Congress of Deputies with the Democratic Memory Bill than of what the Government of his community does, whose current president, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, is about to end the legislature , you have not yet agreed to receive it. This Saturday, December 4, it’s 44 years old of that crime and nothing of what happened has yet been clarified.

That day, García Caparrós, a Cervezas Victoria worker and member of CCOO, who was still a minor according to the law of the time at 18 years of age, was in the queue of the demonstration when the march passed in front of the Malaga Provincial Council. Then someone put next to the flag of Spain that the white and green of Andalusia that the president of the Provincial Corporation had strictly forbidden to show was waving in the building. According to the journalistic chronicles of that mobilization, they had also gathered in the area far-right militants known in the city for their violent actions. Then came the shots, allegedly by the police, which killed the young protester.

Manuel José García Caparrós was declared Favorite Son of Andalusia posthumously in 2013

Manuel José García Caparrós was declared Favorite Son of Andalusia posthumously in 2013, the previous president of the Board, Susana Díaz, promised, after meeting with her family, that her case would be the first file to be opened with the Andalusian Historical and Democratic Memory Law approved in 2017, but since the arrival at the regional executive of PP and Ciudadanos, with the support of Vox, everything has slowed down and little progress has been made in repairing the memory of the murdered young man. In 2019, his sister Purificación, on behalf of the Manuel José García Caparrós Association, requested a meeting with Juan Manuel Moreno, but so far they have only been received by the Deputy Minister of Culture, the council of the Board where the Commissioner for Concord, a new figure created by the self-styled government “of change” to manage the policies of historical memory.

“Here we continue to wait for someone to give us a solution, for someone to tell us something and this will advance,” says García Caparrós to Público Purificación. “Juanma Moreno has turned a deaf ear –Add-, neither answer nor receive us nor be interested. Any. We had a meeting a year ago on the Board, but the usual. Any. The truth is that sometimes you no longer listen to what they say in those meetings, because we have been waiting for 44 years and nothing progresses “.

The Ministry of Culture, to questions from Public Regarding the progress that has been made since the meeting with the García Caparrós family, he stated that after the meeting with the former vice-counselor, who qualifies as “cordial and constructive”, he stayed to maintain a dialogue to meet again. But that, however, has not yet happened because there was a change in the head of the vice-ministry, a position that he has held since last August. Macarena o’neill, former Secretary General of Heritage, as explained by a spokesman for the department of the Board responsible for historical memory policies.

Now, the sights of the family are more focused on what can be decided in Congress, where the project of Democratic Memory Law state level. The United Podemos and PSOE groups agreed on an amendment on November 17 that plans to extend until 1982 the census of victims of the Franco regime included in the norm to recognize cases of groups or families with deaths that were a consequence of the repression. Among those cases would be that of García Caparrós, assassinated in 1977, two years after Franco’s death and one before the approval of the Constitution.

However, it remains to be established thatwhat kind of repair it will be done to those victims during the processing of the bill that has once again stalled in Congress. The socialist group announced last week the freezing of the process with the aim of obtaining new support so that it has the greatest possible consensus in the camera. In this way, a project that was approved in July by the Council of Ministers and that in October surpassed the amendments to the whole presented by PP, Vox and ERC, will still have to wait a while before becoming a legislative reality.

The Caparrós family recalls that it was proposed that Manuel José be considered a victim of terrorism

Purificación García Caparrós, however, recalls that the family has always proposed that Manuel José be considered as victim of terrorism and was included, therefore, within the regulations that already exist for people who suffered a terrorist attack. “They have not paid attention to us either,” he regrets, “because they do not consider it to be the case. But what happened to my brother was a terrorist act, regardless of who it may be. Everything was premeditated.”

Two members of the central government, his then second vice president, Pablo Iglesias, and the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, received a year ago, on the eve of December 4, the García Caparrós sisters. At that meeting, both leaders of United We Can assured the family that the new law will also include victims such as the young man murdered in Malaga, since it extends the period contemplated beyond the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

Caution of the family before the new law

The family lawyer, Luis Ocaña, shows, however, caution in the face of these announcements, because, first, the new law has to be approved, he warns. “Hopefully there is a framework of broader rights for the family. It may mean progress that longer periods of time are collected, but we are awaiting what is finally approved, “the lawyer told this newspaper.

According to Ocaña, in Andalusia the issue is even more stopped, because since the meeting they held with the Commissioner of Concord of the Board they have not received any information, no communication, nothing that has supposed an advance in the repair of the memory of Manuel José García Caparrós, despite the fact that he was declared Favorite Son of this autonomous community posthumously eight years ago. When announcing the creation of this new figure, the Minister of the Presidency, Elías Bendodo, explained that his objective was to “expand and improve” the Andalusian Law of Historical and Democratic Memory, but he also specified: “we are going to work calmly and calmly” . The family lawyer sees it differently: “everything is deactivated as a result of the pact of rights in Andalusia.”

In fact, since his appointment in April 2020, Francisco Javier Arroyo Navarro has hardly been known public interventions, measures agreed upon as Commissioner of Concord that have transcended, except for one, the report issued last July against the decision of the Cádiz City Council to remove the commemorative plaque from the birthplace of José María Pemán, because, to his understanding, that supposed a “wrong application of the Historical and Democratic Law.”

Paralysis of historical memory in Andalusia

None of this is strange to the Andalusian Coordinator for Historical and Democratic Memory, which has been the entire legislature of the PP and Citizens government, about to expire, denouncing the paralysis and abandonment of memorial policies in this autonomous community. In its balance sheet for 2021, presented this Thursday, the Coordinator states: “In short, the progressive dismantling of memorialist policies in Andalusia, accelerated by the covid pandemic, through a permanent budget starvation, a repeated breach by the Andalusian Government of the Law of Historical and Democratic Memory for Andalusia and, with this, an absolute neglect of victims and their families. The Andalusian Government is going to let the entire Legislature pass without approving any initiative of its own for the reparation and dignity of the victims of the Franco regime. His memorialist roadmap is to end these policies. “

Its vice president, Antonio Manuel Mateos, assures that in Andalusia nothing has been done in recent years for the reparation of the victims of the Franco regime, “not even a simple act of remembrance”, not to García Caparrós or anyone else. That disdain, in his opinion, is flagrantly reflected in the repeated breach of article 17 of Andalusian law, which declares the June 14 as a day of remembrance and tribute to the victims of the military coup and the dictatorship, and provides that Andalusian public institutions will promote on that date acts of recognition and tribute, in order to vindicate democratic values ​​and the struggle of the Andalusian people for their freedoms.

“It seems to us a real anomaly, a way of not wanting to repair the damage to rescue them from oblivion, to attack memory. These victims were assassinated twice, first by one shot and later condemned to oblivion, “laments the spokesman for the Andalusian Coordinator for Historical and Democratic Memory.

To all this has contributed, in addition, the decision to abolish the victim assistance offices that previously had in the provincial delegations of the Andalusian Government, according to Mateos. “They broke all ties between the Board and the victims and their families. How are they going to take care of organizing an act of homage?” Reproaches the vice president of the Coordinating Committee, who has not been received by the president of the Board either, a meeting that They already applied in the month of May 2020.

After the meeting that the previous president of the Board had with the García Caparrós sisters, the Andalusian Government, then the PSOE, asked the Congress of Deputies for the complete file on the death of the young man from Malaga. In that petition it was alleged that the information that had been provided to the family was crossed out, it was incomplete, it was partial and it could only have been consulted by a deputy who could not make photocopies of the report. The Board of the Chamber rejected, however, the petition based on the Law of Official Secrets, which prevents the disclosure, until after 50 years, of the files in which members of the State security forces are involved.

There are still six years left for this deadline to be met, however, although that moment is not so far away, the García Caparrós family is not optimistic about what may happen either. “When they turn 50, they will not appear not half of the documents about what really happened in 1977, “says his lawyer.

Meanwhile, the García Caparrós sisters will continue to attend the only events that continue to be organized every December 4 in memory of Manuel José, which are called by some town halls and memorialist associations. This year they will go to the one that has been organized in Puerto Real (Cádiz), where his city council has called this weekend an urban painting contest within the framework of the acts of the so-called National Day of Andalusia, which will take place in the square that bears the name of Manuel José García Caparrós. There, those who want to participate will paint artistic murals which should deal with the celebration of December 4.

Manuel José García Caparrós shared posthumously in 2013 the declaration of Favorite Son of Andalusia with another Malaga, the actor Antonio Banderas, and with the Sevillian painter Carmen Laffón. Since PP and Ciudadanos govern the Board, they have received this distinction, approved by the Andalusian Government Council, José Luis García Palacios, former president of Caja Rural del Sur, also posthumously, the businessman from Macael (Almería) Francisco Martínez Cosentino, ABC journalist Antonio Burgos, the bullfighter Curro Romero and singer Raphael.

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