Open wounds can’t heal : challenging Spain’s Pact of Oblivion in today’s consolidated democracy

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Lopez Gorrixto, Magdalena
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The human rights abuses committed under Franco’s dictatorship have been silenced since time of the Spanish democratization process, in accordance with the transition agreement known as Pact of Oblivion. Nonexistent political will and shortage of judicial accountability have contributed to a constraint of truth, justice and reparation, and ensured that silence and lack of transitional justice has continued. This study encompasses a historical background of the Spanish Republic and Civil War in the first chapter as well as characteristics and repression methods of the Franco regime. The second and third chapters cover Spain’s democratization process and different transitional justice approaches from other countries, and finally the last chapter covers the current socio-political context that situates Spain in a momentum of change. This thesis aims to demonstrate that the narrative of the transition has created a culture of impunity which has caused a social perception of Spanish democracy as of low-quality; while it argues that socio-political changes over the country (including the 15M, the Argentinean Lawsuit and the emergence of political party Podemos, amongst others), have presented a regime change that wishes to leave behind the silence imposed on the country at Franco’s death, in order to attain a new participatory democracy. This thesis ultimately suggests that the current socio-political scenario creates an opportune surrounding for a change of Spain’s transitional justice approach, towards the inclusion of a Truth Commission.
Second semester University: Masaryk University, Brno.
civil war, democracy, democratisation, participatory democracy, transitional justice, Spain