The founder of the Spanish fascist Phalange party will be exhumed from the valley of the dead by his family

THE family of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of Spain’s fascist Falange party, has announced that they will privately exhume the politician’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen monument, before the central government does so under of a new law on historical memory.

A statement from the family, seen by the Spanish daily ABCsaid the exhumation would be “a strictly private family affair” and not a “public spectacle” which could provoke “clashes between Spaniards”.

Primo de Rivera’s remains, the statement continued, “will be interred in the location chosen by the family.”

The family complained it would be “the fourth time” his remains had been moved since his death.

For his part, central government sources said ABC that the executive was “grateful for the family’s willingness to carry out the exhumation and to comply with the Democratic Memory Act”.

People visiting Franco’s grave in the Valley of the Fallen before his exhumation in 2019.

The Socialist-led government in Spain recently passed this legislation, which aims to bring “justice, reparation and dignity” to the victims of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Primo de Rivera, who was the eldest son of the Spanish dictator, General Miguel Primo de Rivera, was a supporter of the coup against the Spanish republic which started the civil war.

He was imprisoned before the start of the conflict and was executed during his first months. He was interred in the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen in 1959.

At the end of 2019, Franco’s remains were exhumed from the Valley of the Dead by order of the government, despite the opposition of those close to him.

The monument, which is located in the Guadarrama mountains near Madrid, was defined by Franco as a place of “national atonement” and reconciliation.

But it has always been a controversial site, not only for housing the remains of Franco and Primo de Rivera, but also because victims from the losing Republican side of the conflict were buried there without the consent or knowledge of their families.

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