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Remains of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco can be exhumed, Spain’s top court rules

2019-09-24

The remains of former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco can be exhumed, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Franco, who ruled over Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975, was interred at the Valle de los Caídos (The Valley of the Fallen), a gigantic mausoleum built in part by forced labor of political prisoners from his regime.

According to the Associated Press, six judges unanimously rejected an appeal by the controversial dictator’s family who opposed the government’s plan to move the body to a cemetery on the capital’s outskirts, as well as the proposal of an alternative site, the Cathedral of La Almudena in central Madrid.

The family requested that his remains should be re-interred with full military honors.

The court rejected both requests, ruling that it “completely reject the appeal lodged by the family in relation to Francisco Franco’s exhumation,” according to the BBC.

The remains of the right-wing ruler will now be taken to the cemetery of Mingorrubio in El Pardo to the north of Madrid — the site where the Franco’s wife Carmen Polo and several Francoist associates are buried.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez celebrated the decision as a “great victory for democracy.”

Sanchez’s deputy, Carmen Calvo, said the exhumation would be done “as soon as possible,” according to the BBC.