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Spain's Supreme Court Rules Dictator's Remains Can Be Moved From Mausoleum: NPR



The Valley of the Fallen, outside Madrid, includes gene. Francisco Franco's tomb.
                
                
                    
                    Philippe Desmazes / AFP / Getty Images
                    
                

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Philippe Desmazes / AFP / Getty Images
        
    

The Valley of the Fallen, outside Madrid, includes gene. Francisco Franco's tomb.

Philippe Desmazes / AFP / Getty Images
            
        

The Supreme Court of Spain has written in a decades-long controversy by ruling unanimously on Tuesday. Francisco Franco from a towering monument outside of Madrid.

Critics say the leader's remains at the massive mausoleum glorifies Franco's fascist regime. The Spanish Civil War ended in 1939.

Spain's high court rejected the effort to move from the Valley of the Fallen , located in Sierra de Guadarram, a little more than an hour northwest of Madrid. 1975.

The issue of Franco's burial site remains deeply divisive in Spain, some 80 years after the end of the country's bloody civil war and the defeat of the Second Spanish Republic by forces led by Franco.

The ruling by the six-judge panel handed a major victory to the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, which has turned Franco's remains to a municipal cemetery one of its top priorities since it came to power last summer. The party had come to an end in the Republican Government.

In a tweet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez praised the ruling, saying it would help "to repair the suffering of the victims of Franco."

A protester holds pictures of people who went missing during the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1936-1975. Protestors in Madrid this summer demand the exhumation of Franco from Valley of the Fallen.
                
                
                    
                    SOPA Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Gett
                    
                

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SOPA Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Gett
        
    

A protester holds pictures of people who went missing during the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1936-1975. Protests in Madrid this summer demand the exhumation of Franco from Valley of the Fallen.

SOPA Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Gett
            
        

Franco's 36-year reign … what notorious for the imprisonment, torture and killing of those who spoke out against his regime. "

Sánchez and his allies," spent huge amounts of time and effort to make the exhumation a reality, "according to the Spanish newspaper El País. But those efforts are stifled by court.

Spanish officials had ruled definitively on the matter.

The Associated Press reports Tuesday's ruling can not be appealed, but a lawyer representing Franco's family is planning additional legal maneuvers.

Lawyer Luis Felipe Utrera said the relative hope for the country's Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

"The government is prohibiting a family from burying one of their own where they are convenient," Utrera told Spanish public broadcaster TVE, according to AP.

Getting Franco's body moved expeditiously for the Sánchez 'government, which wants to be remanded before general elections on Nov. 10.

Socialists in Spain have refashioned the Valley of the Fallen into a memorial for the roughly half a million people who died during the civil war.

As the Guardian reports some 34,000 dead are buried there "including many for the losing republican side and whose bodies were transferred to the site during Franco's dictatorship without the permission of families."

Experts, according to the AP, estimate some 114,000 bodies from the Spanish Civil War are buried at 2,500 mass graves across Spain, the majority of which are unmarked.


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