This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (December 2009)
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In December 1931, eight months after the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic, Castilblanco was the scene of a violent and unexpected incident. At the time it was a pueblo (village) of about 900 reasonably prosperous inhabitants and had no record of political or social unrest. Permission was however refused by the authorities when local socialist leaders proposed a demonstration (the second of two) against the civil governor of Badajoz. The socialist rally went ahead and the Civil Guard (Spain) detachment based in the village intervened to disperse it at the instructions of the mayor of the municipality. A crowd of villagers confronted the civil guards who, as elsewhere in rural Spain, were resented as an unpopular and repressive force deliberately recruited from outside the region where they were stationed. After a shot was fired, the four civil guards present were knifed to death and their bodies mutilated. It was not possible to identify the actual killers, although six villagers were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. The incident was the first of a series of disturbances that led up to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.