Salvador Puig Antich
|Salvador Puig Antich|
Undated photo of Salvador Puig Antich
May 30, 1948|
|Died||March 2, 1974
Salvador Puig Antich [ˈpudʒ ənˈtik] (1948–1974) was a Catalan revolutionary, militant anarchist whose unpopular execution under Spain's Franco regime made him a cause célèbre for Catalan autonomists and anarchists. After fighting the Franco regime with the Iberian Liberation Movement in the early 1970s, he was convicted and executed for the death of a policeman.
Catalonians viewed Puig Antich's judicial death as symbolic retribution for the region's fight for autonomy, and his name became commonplace in Barcelona. The incident inspired works by Catalan artists Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies, and a satirical play by the Catalan theater group Els Joglars. The 2006 film Salvador depicts Puig Antich's time on death row. After the Spanish Supreme Court declined an effort to review the execution, an Argentine court adopted the case under universal jurisdiction in 2013.
Iberian Liberation Movement
Salvador Puig Antich was born May 30, 1948, in Barcelona, Spain. He was a member of the Workers' Commissions before he joined the Iberian Liberation Movement (Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación, or MIL). He participated in their military actions against the Franco regime in 1972 and 1973, when he was arrested for the death of a policeman. The war council sentenced him to death by garrote vil in the Model prison. His execution proceeded despite international outcry, as Spain's second state execution in eight years. College students in Barcelona and Madrid went on strike in protest of the execution, whereupon they fought with police.
Catalonians interpreted Puig Antich's execution as symbolic retaliation for the region's fight for autonomy, which led to public demonstrations. As one of Franco's last victims, Puig Antich became a household name in Barcelona. The Groupes d'action révolutionnaire internationalistes (GARI) formed to avenge his death.
Several years after his 1974 execution, the Catalan performance group Els Joglars performed La torna, a 1977 satire against torture based on Puig Antich's execution. Even though the Franco regime had fallen, along with its censorship laws, members of Els Joglars were jailed or forced into exile. Spanish theater groups protested across Spain. Catalan painters Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies both alluded to Puig Antich's execution in their mid-1970s work. Miró's The Hope of a Condemned Man triptych features a line that "sighs and falls with faltering resignation" and flicked paint. Tàpies's Assassins lithograph series, presented at the Parisian Galerie Maeght, too was inspired by Puig Antich's execution and Spanish politics. The 2006 film Salvador depicts Puig Antich's time spent on death row.
An effort by family members and outside groups to review Puig Antich's case was rejected by the Spanish Supreme Court in 2007, but an Argentine judge adopted the case with those of other Franco regime victims under universal jurisdiction in 2013.
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