Málaga, Spain: SIXTY YEARS after three youngsters were killed in an horrific incident a Spanish village is preparing to pay homage to them.
Surprisingly, the facts were unearthed by a British expatriate, journalist David Baird.
He has recorded them in his book Between Two Fires – Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, highly praised by historians Paul Preston and Ian Gibson.
“I spent five years interviewing old timers, from former guerrillas to Civil Guards and kidnap victims, to learn about a forgotten rebellion against the Franco regime in the 1940s,” says Baird, originally from Shropshire, England.
“The authorities used brutal methods to crush the revolt and the little village of Frigiliana (pop. 3,000), near Nerja, in Málaga province, southern Spain, suffered terribly.
“Perhaps the worst incident occurred in 1950 when three young men were ordered to report to the Civil Guard post for interrogation. Nothing was heard of them for two days and then their mutilated bodies were dumped at the village cemetery.”
While searching through military records, Baird came across the official whitewash in a report that was never made public.
The Civil Guards claimed the men were seen moving over a hillside late at night. When they failed to halt and be identified, the guards opened fire.
Nobody in the village accepted this story and the outraged inhabitants flocked to the funeral in an unprecedented act of defiance to the authorities.
Now, in an unusual display of solidarity, Frigiliana’s political parties have unanimously agreed to pay homage to the three victims and to all those who suffered in the Spanish Civil War and afterwards. Solemn ceremonies will be held in April.
Between Two Fires is published by Maroma Press, based in Málaga province. It also published Baird’s first fiction book, Don’t Miss The Fiesta!, which draws on the writer’s intimate knowledge of Spain and its recent history.
A chilling tale it is, telling how a naïve expatriate seeks refuge in a remote Andalusian village, only to find that beneath the placid surface lurk dark and sinister secrets.
David Baird is an award-winning author, journalist and photographer who has worked around the world, from Fleet Street and Canada to Australia and Hong Kong. His other books include Sunny Side Up – the 21st century hits a Spanish village and Back Roads of Southern Spain (published by Santana Books).