The Towns that Franco built remain reluctant to extinguish his memory
[...] Although Article 15 of the Historical Memory Law is unequivocal about the obligation to remove references to Franco from street names and plaques, place names remain ambiguous. After the end of the dictatorship, the changes came slowly. Most of the alterations — from El Ferrol del Caudillo in 1982, to Gévora del Caudillo, the latest, in 2011 — were made following local council votes. Others preferred to hold a referendum first. On occasion, the vote goes against those defending the law, as was the case with Guadiana del Caudillo, which in March rejected a motion to change its name. In the case of Bembézar simple logistics come into play. The village reinstated its Del Caudillo suffix because of postal confusion with the nearby Bembézar reservoir.
In Águeda, opposition to name change is abundant. As soon as I get out the car, an elderly man approaches to cast an eye over the outsider. When I voice the purpose of the visit, he shuts up. Asked for his name, he refuses to give it: “I’m the man you met under a tree.” [...]
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