Friday, July 23, 2010

Known as “the Bulldog,” “the Star Judge,” the “Superjuez,”

The ‘Superjuez’ under fire

July 22, 2010 Crusading judge Baltasar Garzón faces charges for opening the wounds of the Fascist past

He’s inspired tens of thousands of Spaniards to protest on his behalf—and support his efforts to uncover the crimes of Spain’s Fascist past. In 2008, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón opened the historical floodgates, announcing an official investigation into 114,000 disappearances during Spain’s bloody 1936-1939 civil war, and the subsequent years of Gen. Francisco Franco’s rule. And he did more than strike against the unofficial pacto del olvido, or pact of silence, that has existed since the dictatorship ended in 1975. He charged Franco and his associates with crimes against humanity, for the first time, and vowed to exhume Franco-era mass graves.


He’s also been a thorn in the side of the United States: last year, Garzón, who has described the Iraq war as “illegal,” opened a case against six members of the Bush administration for their “systematic plan of torture” at Guantánamo Bay. His 2003 indictment of bin Laden was also an attempt to make things difficult for Washington. “I have no interest in judging bin Laden,” he explained. But “if they catch [him] alive, they can’t send him to Guantánamo without first dealing with this indictment.” Continued

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