Monday, March 2, 2009

Puig Antich

Following the premonition of a beautiful birth, the remembrance of a haunting death. On this day 35 years ago, March 2 1974, Salvador Puig Antich was the last man assassinated by the Franco regime in Spain.

Puig Antich was born in Barcelona in 1948, and was 20 years old during the French general strike that led to the collapse of the De Gaulle government. Inspired by this example, he involved himself in the fight against the Franco dictatorship, eventually becoming a member of the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación, an anti-Franco and anti-capitalist militant organization. Puig Antich was part of a group that robbed Spanish and French banks, using the money to support the group's clandestine publications, and to support strikers and imprisoned workers.

In 1973 Puig Antich and two other gang members were captured in a Barcelona bar, during which a Guardia Civil was killed. Puig Antich was accused of having fired the shots that killed the policeman, though it was later proved that he was killed by another Guardia during the operation. Regardless, Puig Antich was sentenced to death. His sentence was protested around the world by activists and governments alike, but Franco, who was holding fast to the last rudiments of his control, did not concede. Puig Antich, then 25 years old, was executed in a cell of the central Barcelona jail on March 2 at 9:40 am. Franco himself died 18 months later, and his government collapsed soon after.

1 comment:

Gurldoggie said...

Your blog is brilliant!