Political parties in Spain have been urged to pledge to investigate cases of people who ‘disappeared’ during the 1939-1975 period of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.
The Platform for a Truth Commission launched the campaign in the hope of establishing the facts surrounding the unsolved crimes of the 1936 to 1939 civil war and the dictatorship which followed.
The initiative comes ahead of the country’s general election on 20 December.
UN experts have asked Spain to investigate alleged crimes, but the whole episode was so painful for many people, that even discussion about those times has been difficult. Opinions about Franco’s rule remain deeply divided.
"We ask all the parties to commit once and for all to fulfilling the UN resolutions during the next legislature," the movement's spokesman Jordi Gordon said.
The aim is to "set up a parliamentary truth commission to recognise the victims of Franco and establish the facts".
The platform estimates unsolved "disappearances" run to more than 150,000 and some 2,380 mass graves remain to be exhumed.
It also demands an official investigation into how babies were taken away from their mothers and adopted by families who supported the dictatorship.
After Franco died in 1975, an amnesty for the crimes of the previous four decades was declared to enable the country to move ahead. In 2007 came the “historical memory law” which was supposed to examine some of the alleged crimes.
Since the conservative election win of 2011, the “victims’ bureau” established under the law has been suppressed, according to Gordon.