Spain moves to relocate remains of former dictator Francisco Franco

A woman wears the Spanish flag like a cape at the Valley of the Fallen memorial in San Lorenzo del Escorial.
(Mariscal / EPA-Shutterstock)

Spain’s center-left government says it has approved legal amendments ensuring that the remains of former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco will be dug up and removed from a controversial mausoleum.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said the minority socialist government is certain that parliament will endorse Friday’s decision, probably next month.

The amendments to Spain’s Historical Memory Law of 2007 grant the government power to exhume Franco’s body. That change aims to thwart legal efforts by Franco’s descendants and supporters to block the exhumation.

Removing Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen, a mausoleum he ordered built 30 miles northwest of Madrid, would be a momentous event in Spain, which still bears social and political scars from the 1936-39 civil war.