Fantômes de démocratie

Memory, 19 September 2019

Fantômes de démocratie

Ghosts of Democracy

Chronicle by Luc Clément


Madrid, 14 July 1977. It has been almost two years since Francisco Franco died, after 36 years of fascist rule, and rests in his grandiose mausoleum in the Valle de los Caidos. One of the senior officers of his former administration, Adolfo Suarez, has just been elected head of the government. He is the first ruler democratically elected to head the Spanish state following the dictator. On this particular day, a group of socialist, communist as well as Basque and Catalan Members of Parliament presented to the Cortes, the newly reconstituted assembly, a historic bill, the “Pacto del Olvido” (Pact of Forgetting). As a complement to the amnesty law, aimed in the main at freeing all Spain’s political prisoners, whatever their background, the pact intended to offer the country a painful yet conscious transition in preference to the temptation of silence or a witch-hunt.

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