A planned repression


The military insurrectionists had a systematic plan to eliminate their political opponents. It involved killing or imprisoning everyone, in every village and every town, who was suspected of having collaborated with the Popular Front, the left-wing coalition which in this region had received more than 80 per cent of votes in February 1936.

The Republican reprisals against those on the right or who were suspected of collaborating with those plotting the coup were spontaneous, and the result of outrage when the atrocities committed by the fascists in the area they ruled became known. This Republican violence ended the lives of seven people in San Roque and 16 in Jimena.
Because of its geographic location and the speed with which the insurrectionists triumphed, the Campo de Gibraltar became the first testing site for Francoist repression: it was planned, systematic and cruel, and it cost the lives of more than 1,000 people who were shot against the walls of the cemeteries in seven municipalities.


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The vast majority were shot with no previous trial, summarily executed by the military in a way which began to be applied more and more frequently in the area from early March 1937.
Historian José Manuel Algarbani, from Algeciras, has drawn up a list of 556 people from the Campo de Gibraltar who were shot: those about whom he was able to find some documentary confirmation. Most researchers say that the executions during the peak period of terror, in which there were no trials and orders to kill were not even written down, were so numerous that in order to know the exact number of those who died the documented evidence should be multiplied by three. That is why we say that in the Campo de Gibraltar the fascists killed more than 1,000 people.

The rebels followed a strategy of repression which included mass shootings and ‘razzia’, a method used years earlier by the Spanish army against the Moroccans in the Rif war: when they occupied a town they began to kill people and instil terror immediately, so nobody had time to react. This approach was similar to Nazi theories regarding total warfare and certain practices in the colonial war. This represssion was more than blind, gratuitous violence: it had a clear social function which was aimed at consolidating the new Francoist regime.

Many of those shot in the towns and villages in the early days of the occupation were of little or no political significance, because many mayors, councillors and Republican political leaders had already fled after hearing of the repressive methods used by the insurrectionists in La Línea and Algeciras. The rebel leaders in the region put Queipo de Llano’s order into practise:
“The guns will be used, with no previous trial, against the leaders of the Marxist or communist organisations that exist in the village, and if there are no such leaders then an equal number of affiliates, selected arbitrarily, will be executed instead”.

Many other people were shot after the war was over, because from 1939 onwards they returned home thinking that nothing bad would happen to them. They had believed Franco when he promised that nothing would happen to those who didn’t have blood on their hands.

In Algeciras, the shootings began right from the start. The first detainees were taken to the Escopeteros jail, which was opposite the Town Hall. Most officers from the Carabineros police force, nearly all of whom were loyal to the Republic, were locked into La Perseverencia bullring. From the jail, the prisoners were driven in lorries to the cemetery at dusk. There, they were placed with their backs to the southern wall and executed, first with a volley of guns and then a single shot to the head. More than 300 people were killed in this way.

More than 300 were also shot in La Línea, a town which at the time had about 35,000 inhabitants. In La Línea, as in much of Andalucía, there was no civil war. There was only a massacre carried out by the military against defenceless civilians. What happened was really a genocide. In San Roque, there is documentary evidence that 91 people were shot; in Los Barrios, 42; in Tarifa, 58; in Jimena, 85; and in Castellar, 24.

Links to learn more about Francoist repression in Andalucía:

- http://www.foroporlamemoria.net/campo-de-gibraltar.html 
- http://www.foroporlamemoria.net/campo-de-gibraltar/reportaje-cg.html 
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD7tdu3x7BI 
- https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1fnOdtixbH6GJEkEy72ji2HW7j9I&hl=es 
- http://docslide.com.br/documents/represion-magisterio-en-campo-de-gibraltar.html 
- www.elblogdelapizarra.org/wp-content/uploads/extractorosal-02.pdf 
- https://books.google.es/books?id=Lx0JKDfBTP0C&pg=PA255&lpg=PA255&dq=represi%C3%B3n+en+el+Campo+de+Gibraltar&source=bl&ots=zIlDb7poHp&sig=gwqVRjNplkI_CEPZdri1PpVe_RE&hl=es&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK-J6D0vDOAhWGbhQKHeZjDn04FBDoAQg6MAU#v=onepage&q=represi%C3%B3n%20en%20el%20Campo%20de%20Gibraltar&f=false 
- https://books.google.es/books?id=P6_P-1ASZNAC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=represi%C3%B3n+en+el+Campo+de+Gibraltar&source=bl&ots=hVRzOquuMU&sig=z4k2025FPmhCLOdylhmWwRmG-C8&hl=es&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK-J6D0vDOAhWGbhQKHeZjDn04FBDoAQg9MAY#v=onepage&q=represi%C3%B3n%20en%20el%20Campo%20de%20Gibraltar&f=false 
- https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/3890729.pdf 
- http://www.noticiasdelavilla.net/noticias/174/jose-manuel-algarbani/16319/la-represion-durante-la-guerra-civil-y-la-posguerra-en-los-barrios.aspx 
- http://guerracivildiadia.blogspot.com.es/2014/08/algeciras-alzamiento-en.html 
- http://www.foroporlamemoria.info/documentos/Europa_Sur240120004.htm 
- http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/administracionlocalyrelacionesinstitucionales/mapadefosas/busquedaTumbas.cgj?codigoTumba=1100401&codigoProvincia=2 
- http://lalineaenblancoynegro.blogspot.com.es/2011/07/la-guerra-civil-espanola-en-las-paginas.html