Luis Planas, new agriculture minister, participated in a homage to bloody Francoist army mercenary

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup, Vilaweb

Photo: Luis Planas (Credit: Vilaweb)

By Vilaweb Writers

From 6th June 2018

The president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, has appointed Luis Planas, as Minister of Agriculture. Planas, born in Valencia, was a member of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) in the Spanish Congress for Córdoba; adviser of the Junta de Andalucía and ambassador of Spain to Morocco. His position as ambassador lasted six years, from 2004 to 2010.  It was during this time that he took part in a very controversial tribute, to Lieutenant General Mohamed Mizzian, known to be one of Franco’s deadliest officers. At the end of May 2006, a private museum dedicated to Mizzian was inaugurated in the city of Nador, in a house that Franco had given him, filled with numerous photos of the dictator. And the person who cut the ribbon to open the museum was Luis Planas.

Planas headed a Spanish delegation working on the tribute event, in which the second chief of staff of the Spanish army participated, as recorded in the media of those days, such as in this article in the newspaper El País [Spanish].

This raised criticism from some Spanish progressives. An example is this letter to the editor of El País, titled ‘Homage to a bloodthirsty military man’. It was written by two union historians from CCOO, Alfonso Martínez Foronda and Eduardo Saborido Galán. And they remember: “This military man sided with Franco from the first moment of the revolt against the legal government of the Republic, directing the Spanish regulars, and Moroccan mercenaries used by Franco as a shock force over the course of the war.”

The authors continued: “The shock force distinguished themselves especially because, while they were occupying villages, they shot prisoners en masse, they castrated men and hung their parts from their bayonets as a symbol of victor, raped women until they were dead, sacked houses, and went on to sell the goods they looted.”

After the 1936-39 war, in which Mizzian played a prominent role in some of the bloodiest battles, such as that of Alcázar de Toledo, the siege of Madrid and the Battle of the Ebro, he was appointed by Franco General Captain of Galicia and the Canaries.

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