Following the news that Spanish dictator Francisco Franco's remains will be exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen, Vice-President Carmen Calvo has said the remains of Spanish Phalanx party founder Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera will remain in situ next to Franco's former plot.
Calvo said Jose Antonio, son of dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1930), will remain in the Valley of the Fallen because he was a victim of the Spanish Civil War, killed early during the armed conflict in 1936.
"Primo de Rivera is a victim of the dispute, for which the permanence of his remains in the Valley of the Fallen is justified on the same grounds as the rest of the victims," Calvo said on Friday.
Primo de Rivera was executed by the Second Republic for conspiracy and military rebellion on November 20, 1936. He was the founder of the Spanish Phalanx, a military fascist political organization aiming to topple the democratic republic and replace it with a totalitarian government in his father's fashion.
Primo de Rivera was enshrined by the Franco regime and became a martyr, earning a special place in the honorary cemetery, at the 'Basilica de Cuelgamuros,' in 1959.
During the administration of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the government created a commission of experts wno decided the Valley of the Fallen would be a commemoration place to honor those who died during the civil war, regardless of their allegiance.
It also proposed removing Franco – who died peacefully, much later, and in very different circumstances – while giving Primo de Rivera "a non- prominent place," because all victims should be treated with equal respect.
The government is preparing to transform the Valley of the Fallen into a memorial center. Calvo said the remains of Primo de Rivera will ultimately be exhumed, along with those of the other 33,000 victims, and placed in a more humble grave.