Law of silence in the Legion to cover up a crime
A military court judges a sergeant for killing a legionnaire, and three officers and four soldiers for trying to cover it up
Washing dirty laundry at home and coming to the aid of a comrade “rightly or wrongly” have been two of the Legion’s maxims since it was founded by Lieutenant Colonel José Millán-Astray 103 years ago. In the past, this supposed code of honor served as an excuse to cover up irregularities and guarantee impunity for alleged criminals. In a democracy it is no longer like that. No corporation is outside the law….
The Ministry of Defense has withdrawn the name of the dictator Francisco Franco from a flag of the Third Grand Captain of the Legion, based in Melilla, in application of the new law of Democratic Memory within the Armed Forces. According to the order signed on Monday by Minister Margarita Robles, the flag is renamed “Spain” instead of “Commander Franco.” As founder of the Legion, together with Lieutenant Colonel José Millán-Astray, the dictator gave his name to one of the flags (unit equivalent to a battalion) of the elite unit of the Spanish Army.
The resolution signed by Robles, published this Tuesday in the Official Defense Gazette (BOD), alludes to article 35 of the new law, which affects “symbols and elements contrary to democratic memory.” Specifically, it points out as elements contrary to it those references “to the military uprising and the dictatorship, to its leaders, participants in the repressive system or to the organizations that supported the dictatorship and the civil or military units of collaboration between the Franco regime and the Axis Powers during World War II.
This is the first measure adopted by the Ministry of Defense in application of the new law of Democratic Memory, which entered into force on October 21. At the end of last year, Robles created an internal commission to undertake the task of applying said rule within the Armed Forces, one of whose provisions orders the “ex officio” review of the decorations and military rewards granted to the highest officials of the Franco dictatorship. .
Article 40 of said law orders the different administrations to adopt the appropriate measures “to review ex officio or withdraw the granting of recognitions, honors and distinctions […] that are manifestly incompatible with democratic values and fundamental rights and freedoms, which involve exaltation or exaltation of the military uprising, the War or the Dictatorship or that had been granted due to having formed part of the repressive apparatus of the Franco dictatorship”. Among the decorations that must be reviewed is the Gran Cruz Laureada de San Fernando that Franco awarded himself in 1939, at the end of the Civil War.
The flag of the legion was already the subject of controversy almost three years ago, when the deputy of EH Bildu Jon Iñarritu asked in Congress for the name of the aforementioned flag, to which Defense replied that, indeed, it was dedicated to the dictator, ” because he was its first boss between 1920 and 1922″. At that time, the process to remove the name of the unit attached to the General Command of Melilla, which is now being executed, did not begin.