The Martyrs of Monterjurra
by Dan Canuckistan (intro)
It’s not unprecedented for right-wing reactionaries to migrate to the extreme left. In Argentina, for instance, members of the ultra-reactionary Tacuara Nationalist Movement became key members of that country’s leftist insurgency while in Russia, thousands of members of the proto-fascist Black Hundreds migrated to the revolutionary left and became dedicated Bolsheviks. The reason for these radical shifts in ideology probably lie in the fact that similar traits animate both left- and right-wing militants. Yukio Mishima, the famous Japanese novelist and right-wing militia leader, expressed profound admiration and comradeship with left-wing student radicals and only regretfully parted ways with them over the question of the Emperor. Similarly, in Spain, the monarchist Carlist party spawned an ultra left-wing heavily influenced by Titoism and the ideas of workers’ self-management (“autogestion”). Unfortunately, this tendency was attacked and destroyed by reactionary elements of the Spanish right, leaving two revolutionary martyrs: Ricardo García Pellejero and Aniano Jiménez Santo.
The Carlists, a counter-revolutionary movement which had joined the alliance of Nationalists supporting Franco in the Spanish Civil War, had divided between its more traditional, counter-revolutionary, Ancien Regime, Catholic, anti-capitalistic, anti-socialistic, pro-legitimate monarchist adherents and the new confederal, socialist, autogestionary movement modeled after Titoist ideology. The new Titoist half of the movement was the target of a violent incident organized by Franco’s supporters, informally known as the bunker, who still controlled the State apparatus, allegedly as part of the international anti-leftist Operation GLADIO. Ricardo García Pellejero and Aniano Jiménez Santo, two supporters of Carlist pretender Carlos-Hugo de Borbón-Parma, were murdered by far-right gunmen. At the time of the events, the British magazine, The Economist, speculated about possible Government involvement in the events:
“The region is so tightly policed that opposition parties find it difficult to hold even small private meetings. Yet somehow on a hilltop surrounded by civil guards, more than 50 gunmen could establish themselves for 24 hours, set up an ambush, open fire and make their getaway without attracting official attention.”
Among the perpetrators of the crime were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and fifteen former members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), including Rodolfo Almirón, who later became Manuel Fraga’s chief of personal security. Jean Pierre Cherid, former member of the French OAS and then of the Batallón Vasco Español and GAL death squads, was also present. The Spanish intelligence agency SECED brought far-right members to the Montejurra celebrations, while other extremist organizations such as the Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey, Fuerza Nueva and others contacted members of the Italian International Fascists and of the Triple A. Augusto Canchi, wanted by Italian justice for his role in the 1980 Bologna massacre, was also there.
There were claims that the attack was organized with the help of Carlos-Hugo’s younger brother, Sixto Enrique de Borbón, who opposed Carlos Hugo’s alteration of Carlism from an ultra-traditionalist political movement into a socialist movement.
It is commonly accepted that high-ranking Guardia Civil officials, as well as the SECED, supported the conspiracy (code-named “Operación Reconquista”). Founded by Carrero Blanco, SECED was directed at this moment by general Juan Valverde. Funding was provided by Antonio María de Oriol de Urquijo, one of the leaders of the far right-wing Carlists. According to General Sáenz de Santa María’s memoirs, the conspiracy was organized in the office of the general director of the Guardia Civil, General Juan Campano. Sáenz de Santamaría tells how Campano stated that Arias Navarro, the Prime Minister, and Fraga, the minister of Interior, approved the operation.
Although the murders took place in close proximity to the location of security forces, no one was arrested nor their weapons seized. Even though there was photographic evidence of one of the right-wing terrorists taking part in the events, he was not brought to trial.
Following the requests of the Carlist Party, two Spanish citizens, José Luis Marín García Verde and Hermenegildo García Llorente, were indicted with murder. They were released without trial as part of a blanket amnesty for “political prisoners” in March 1977.
On November 11, 2003, after various failures, one of the Carlist Party’s motions led to the recognition by the Spanish high court of the two dead Carlists as victims of terrorism, therefore allowing their families to claim compensation from the Spanish Government.
In the name of the victims of the Montejurra events, Spanish lawyer José Angel Pérez Nievas pressed charges in January 2007 for the leader of the Triple A, Rodolfo Almirón, to be put on trial for his alleged actions during the Montejurra events. He had been apprehended in Spain in December 2006, following an arrest warrant and extradition request issued by a judge from his home country.