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Spain parliament debates bill to compensate Franco victims

[JURIST] The Spanish parliament began debating the proposed Law for the Recovery of the Historical Memory [JURIST report] Thursday, legislation aimed at healing the wounds of Gen. Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime [BBC backgrounder; LOC backgrounder] that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 following a bitter three-year civil war. The bill would set aside $25 million to compensate victims of the Franco era for land seizure and personal harm. Victims or the relatives of those killed, exiled, or imprisoned by Franco would have a year to make claims. The bill would also ban public recognition of the Franco era, call on localities to assist relatives of victims to exhume corpses from mass graves to family plots, and order Spanish archives to be consolidated and reorganized so that families can access information from the Franco era.

The government first unveiled the proposal last July, but several amendments to the bill have already been proposed, including a provision that would throw out all trial verdicts from the Franco era. Other critics, including the opposition Popular Party, have called for the bill to be thrown out completely. Final approval of the bill is not expected for several months. AP has more. El Pais has local coverage, in Spanish.

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