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European Journal

Spain: Belated Justice for Franco's Victims?

To this day, Spain’s legal system has not dealt with the crimes of the Franco era. A female Argentinian judge is now giving many victims new hope.

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Because of an amnesty, even torturers from the Franco era have been able to live unpunished in Spain. Protection from criminal prosecution was originally meant to facilitate the peaceful transition to democracy. Many victims, however, are demanding that the amnesty be lifted at last. A female judge from Buenos Aires is also seeking belated justice for these victims. Now Spain faces a flood of litigation: some two hundred lawsuits have been filed by Argentinian lawyers living in Madrid. They want to try perpetrators still living in Spain before courts in Argentina.