The Latest: Spain’s Sanchez heralds exhumation of Franco

International

National police officers stand guard at the main gate outside Mingorrubio’s cemetery, outskirts of Madrid, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Forty-four years after his demise, the remains of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco are to be dug out of his grandiose resting place outside Madrid and taken to a small family crypt, finally satisfying a long-standing demand of his victims’ relatives and others who suffered under his regime. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the exhumation and reburial of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco (all times local):

4 p.m.

Spain’s interim prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, says the exhumation of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco “puts an end to a moral affront that is the exaltation of dictator in a public place.”

Earlier, Franco’s remains were taken from the grandiose Valley of the Fallen mausoleum outside Madrid to their new resting place at the Mingorrubio cemetery, 57 kilometers (35 miles) away.

Sánchez said it was necessary now to begin the process of identifying the thousands of Franco victims who were also buried at the mausoleum.

“It’s an infamy that has to be repaired,” he said.

The exhumation, promised by Sánchez on taking office in 2018, was long demanded by many in Spain who considered the mausoleum an insult to the relatives of Franco victims in Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War or those who suffered under his subsequent near-four-decade regime.

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2:20 p.m.

The Spanish military helicopter carrying the remains of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco has landed at a military area close to new burial site. 

The remains were exhumed from the Franco-built grandiose Valley of the Fallen mausoleum northwest of Madrid earlier Thursday for reburial at the Mingorrubio cemetery, a 57-kilometer (35-mile) drive away, where Franco’s wife is buried.

Outside the cemetery, some 500 Franco supporters greeted the helicopter’s arrival with cheers for Franco and insults for interim Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose government ordered the operation.

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12:45 p.m.

Spanish authorities are flying the coffin carrying the remains Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco by helicopter to new burial site following their exhumation from his grandiose mausoleum outside Madrid.

The government-ordered operation on Thursday is a momentous event for Spain and satisfies a decades-old desire of many in Spain who considered the vainglorious mausoleum that Franco built an affront to the tens of thousands who died in Spain’s Civil War and his subsequent regime and to Spain’s standing as a modern democratic state. 

The remains are to be taken to the Mingorrubio cemetery a 57-kilometer (35-mile) drive away, where Franco’s wife is buried.

The coffin was draped with a red cloth bearing the Franco family emblem and a wreath of laurel leaves with a Spanish flag ribbon top.

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12:50 p.m.

Spain says it has exhumed the remains of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco from his grandiose mausoleum outside Madrid so he can be reburied in a small family crypt north of the capital.

The government-ordered, closed-door operation satisfies a decades-old desire of many in Spain who considered the vainglorious mausoleum that Franco built an affront to the tens of thousands who died in Spain’s Civil War and his subsequent regime and to Spain’s standing as a modern democratic state.

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11:20 a.m.

Spain is exhuming the remains of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco from his grandiose mausoleum outside Madrid so he can be reburied in a small family crypt north of the capital.

The government-ordered, closed-door operation on Thursday satisfies a decades-old desire of many in Spain who considered the vainglorious mausoleum that Franco built an affront to the tens of thousands who died in Spain’s Civil War and his subsequent regime and to Spain’s standing as a modern democratic state.

The event, which has been criticized by some conservatives, was broadcast live by Spain’s main TV channels and media websites.

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