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Far-right supporters of Primo de Rivera clash with police at Madrid cemetery

Around 200 fascist sympathizers gathered at a Madrid cemetery on Monday to a give a symbolic welcome to the exhumed remains of Spanish fascist leader Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera.

His body was removed from near an altar in a large Catholic church where the dictator Francisco Franco was also buried until his exhumation in 2019.

Primo de Rivera’s supporters gathered at the Madrid cemetery that will become his new resting place.

They welcomed him with arms raised in fascist salutes and singing the fascist hymn “Cara al Sol,” which became Spain’s national anthem under the Franco regime.

Tensions escalated as several group members attempted to force their way into the cemetery, clashing with police officers on site.

Law enforcement pushed back. Three people have been detained and five have been identified by police, according to Spanish daily El Pais.

Under Spain’s Historical Memory Law, passed by the progressive government in 2022, acts that “humiliate victims” of the Spanish Civil War and subsequent dictatorship or “involve personal or collective exaltation” of those who supported the dictatorial regime are prohibited.

This same legislation prompted authorities to remove Primo de Rivera’s remains from his prominent resting place in “The Valley of the Fallen” – a massive fascist monument to the Spanish Civil War that is also being rebranded under the law.

In November, a similar far-right assembly occurred in Madrid, commemorating the death anniversaries of Franco and Primo de Rivera. During that event, participants also sang the fascist anthem and performed the fascist salute.

The government opened an investigation into that far-right gathering, with organizers facing fines of up to €150,000 ($165,000). However, no formal fine has been publicly issued.

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