A LAWYER has filed legal action against the mayors of 11 towns in Spain with names that pay tribute to dictator Franco's era for not having changed them.
Eduardo Ranz is concerned about those with the word 'Caudillo' in the name, which means 'arsenal' or a stash of weapons and which was used in street and town names during Franco's reign.
These include Águeda del Caudillo (Salamanca province), Alberche del Caudillo (Toledo province), Guadiana del Caudillo (Badajoz province), Llanos del Caudillo (Ciudad Real province), and Bembézar del Caudillo (Córdoba province).
Others feature the names of generals of Franco's army, including Queipo de Llano (Sevilla province), San Leonardo de Yagüe (Soria province), Alcocero de Mola (Burgos province) and Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid province).
They also include locations named 'Franco's town' (Villafranco), such as Villafranco del Guadalhorce (Málaga province) and Villafranco del Guadiana (Badajoz province).
Ranz argues that keeping these town names is in breach of the Law of Historic Memory, in particular Article 15 which requires public authorities to take 'all necessary steps' to remove coats of arms, insignias, plaques or any other mention which could be considered a tribute to the armed conflict, military uprising, Civil War or the dictatorship which lasted until 1975.
“There can be no greater tribute, or exaltation of, the Civil War than keeping the names of its leaders in the name of a town,” Ranz states.
He has pledged to prosecute the mayors of eight of the towns for 'incitement to hatred' in accordance with Article 510 of the Penal Code if they do not take action.
These mayors are Germán Florindo of Águeda del Caudillo, Ana Rivelles of Alberche del Caudillo, Antonio Pozo of Guadiana del Caudillo, Andrés Antonio Arroyo of Llanos del Caudillo; Villafranco del Guadiana's mayor Juan Sánchez, mayor of Quintanilla de Onésimo, Raúl Piquero, Jesús María Estefanía of Alcocero de Mola, and Jesús Elvira Martín of San Leonardo de Yagüe.
Germán Florindo and Ana Rivelles are socialists, and the other six are on the right-wing PP party.
Photograph shows a banner advertising a charity inter-village walk between residents of neighbouring Coín and Villafranco del Guadalhorce (Málaga province). Picture from Twitter