Thursday, January 27

Petrer’s Memory – Information



“The memory of Petrer” is the title of the documentary recorded by Isabel Ginés and Carlos Gonga, journalists specialized in Human Rights and Historical Memory, which recalls the people of Petrere who suffered Franco’s repression to the death and recalls the heartbreaking experiences of the Second Republic, the Civil War and the postwar period. The work commissioned by the City Council has been filmed in La Ciudad Sin Ley, where the textile factories were located, which during some months of the war between 1938 and 1939 became arms factories for the Republic. But it also makes a historical tour of Petrer, from the Second Republic to Franco’s repression, from the hermitage of San Bonifacio or the church of San Bartolomé to the castle, without forgetting the bullring of Monóvar and the current exhumations in the common graves of Alicante.

The documentary offers the valuable testimony of the relatives of many victims of Franco’s repression, such as Montserrat Rico, the granddaughter of Pedro Rico Cerdán; that of Antonia Soler, niece of Constantino Pascual Payá, or those of Violeta Espí Payá and the US councilor, Rafael Masiá Espí, niece and great-nephew of Salustiano Espí Reig, all of them shot on the wall of the Alicante cemetery after the end of the War Civil and buried in a mass grave. Also participating in the recording are Fernando Portillo, Councilor for Culture, Heritage and Historical Memory, and Mayor Irene Navarro.

But among all the testimonies of the relatives of the reprisals, that of Minerva García, daughter of the last mayor of Petrer during the Second Republic, Rosendo García Montesinos, better known by the nickname “Pelele”, takes on a special human and symbolic strength. In the years before the Civil War, he helped the population to have access to clean water and food and fought firmly for the well-being of his neighbors. However, he was the only resident of the town who ended up being shot on the wall of the Petrer cemetery. A public warning of what could happen to those who support the Government of the Republic or those who profess their ideology. After eight months of harassment and torture, “Pelele” was assassinated, leaving six-month-old Minerva, another eleven-month-old daughter and his wife. His body was thrown into a ditch and he currently has a monolith in the cemetery, which his own family paid for, so that his daughters could bring him flowers and pray for him. «Pelele» was well known for his public life, for his social struggle and, above all, for being a good man. His daughter mourns his death for not having been able to meet him and rebels against a fratricidal war that continues to cause pain.

Petrer’s memory PÉREZGILPÉREZGIL


In 90 intense minutes, the documentary transmits the vital testimonies of the descendants of the mortal victims of Franco’s repression in Petrer, direct relatives who have been clamoring for justice and reparation for years and who have key information. The authors Isabel Ginés and Carlos Gonga have counted in their story with the cooperation of the mayor Fernando Portillo, the director of the Dámaso Navarro Museum, Fernando Tendero, and especially Boni Navarro, the local historian who has been fighting for decades to preserve historical memory. The report has just finished after several weeks of filming and production, and will be presented in the coming weeks, in Petrer, as a posthumous tribute to those who lost their lives defending freedom.

“The memory of Petrer” is the title of the documentary recorded by Isabel Ginés and Carlos Gonga, journalists specialized in Human Rights and Historical Memory, which recalls the people of Petrere who suffered Franco’s repression to the death and recalls the heartbreaking experiences of the Second Republic, the Civil War and the postwar period. The work commissioned by the City Council has been filmed in La Ciudad Sin Ley, where the textile factories were located, which during some months of the war between 1938 and 1939 became arms factories for the Republic. But it also makes a historical tour of Petrer, from the Second Republic to Franco’s repression, from the hermitage of San Bonifacio or the church of San Bartolomé to the castle, without forgetting the bullring of Monóvar and the current exhumations in the common graves of Alicante.

The documentary offers the valuable testimony of the relatives of many victims of Franco’s repression, such as Montserrat Rico, the granddaughter of Pedro Rico Cerdán; that of Antonia Soler, niece of Constantino Pascual Payá, or those of Violeta Espí Payá and the EU councilor Rafael Masiá Espí, niece and great-nephew of Salustiano Espí Reig, all of them shot on the wall of the Alicante cemetery after the end of the Civil War and buried in a common grave. Also participating in the recording are Fernando Portillo, Councilor for Culture, Heritage and Historical Memory, and Mayor Irene Navarro.

But among all the testimonies of the relatives of the reprisals, that of Minerva García, daughter of the last mayor of Petrer during the Second Republic, Rosendo García Montesinos, better known by the nickname “Pelele”, takes on a special human and symbolic strength. In the years before the Civil War, he helped the population to have access to clean water and food and fought firmly for the well-being of his neighbors. However, he was the only resident of the town who ended up being shot on the wall of the Petrer cemetery. A public warning of what could happen to those who support the Government of the Republic or those who profess their ideology. After eight months of harassment and torture, “Pelele” was assassinated, leaving six-month-old Minerva, another eleven-month-old daughter and his wife. His body was thrown into a ditch and he currently has a monolith in the cemetery, which his own family paid for, so that his daughters could bring him flowers and pray for him. «Pelele» was well known for his public life, for his social struggle and, above all, for being a good man. His daughter mourns his death for not having been able to meet him and rebels against a fratricidal war that continues to cause pain.

In 90 intense minutes, the documentary transmits the vital testimonies of the descendants of the mortal victims of Franco’s repression in Petrer, direct relatives who have been clamoring for justice and reparation for years and who have key information. The authors Isabel Ginés and Carlos Gonga have counted in their story with the cooperation of the mayor Fernando Portillo, the director of the Dámaso Navarro Museum, Fernando Tendero, and especially Boni Navarro, the local historian who has been fighting for decades to preserve historical memory. The report has ended after several weeks of filming and production and will be presented in the coming weeks, in Petrer, as a posthumous tribute to those who lost their lives defending freedom.


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