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The Plundering of the Vanquished

The Economic Repression during Early Francoism

Julio Prada Rodríguez

Economic repression became a keystone of the social exclusion policies of the Franco dictatorship from the stage of the coup dʼétat. Beyond its utility in provisioning the warfronts and for the proper functioning of the rearguard, it became a valuable deterrent and a weapon of intimidation that smothered any expression of non-conformity. If its efficiency was so remarkable, this was due to the fact that it did not act in an isolated fashion, but projected itself on the social body that had already suffered the combined effects of the Civil War, the physical repression and the rest of the coercive and social control mechanisms employed by the regime.

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The Activity of the Political Responsibilities Jurisdiction


Analysing the actions of the different regional courts as a whole is not a simple task, especially when taking into account the existing differences in the number of extant documents. Even so, research conducted hitherto allows us to summarize the main features of this special jurisdiction since its creation up until its ultimate suppression.

In those areas that had remained under rebel control since the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the activity of the CPIBs declined significantly during the second half of 1938. But in those conquered at a later date, there was a vast number of people who had not been purged. For example, according to J. Ruiz (2012: 198), after the enforcement of the new legislation the CPIB of Oviedo transferred a register containing the names of more than 12,000 people to the regional court. However, its entry into force did not give rise to the automatic substitution of the old bodies by the new, but several months were required to adapt to the new situation. In Galicia, for instance, the TRRP was not created until July 1939 and, consequently, the first proceedings were not initiated under the LRP until the same date. In Ourense, the examining court was not fully running until September, when it took over the cases pending resolution by the CPIB when its suppression was decreed. All of which demonstrates the difficulties that this transition posed and the practical impossibility of meeting the six-month deadline to this effect...

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