A short biography of Spanish anarcho-syndicalist and anti-fascist guerilla fighter Basiliso Serrano Valero, a.k.a El Manco de La Pesquera.
Basiliso Serrano Valero was born on Wednesday, April 15, 1908 in the municipality of La Pesquera, as the fifth child of Francisco Serrano and Rosario Valerio. The family was poor like most in the area, and after his father's untimely death, young Basiliso would have an early awakening to the harsh life of the Spanish working class. Basiliso showed a strong and resolute character early on, as well as a degree of personal charisma that put him at odds with the requirements of the priesthood, for which he thought then he was meant. He developed an interest in poetry and began reading voraciously, including radical literature, which opened his mind to the possibility of a new world. By the time Spain became a republic in 1931, Basiliso was already a member of the anarcho-syndicalist union C.N.T., and was known locally as a peacemaker, intervening even on the behalf of those whom he disagreed with politically, like the local priest Alfonso Bonilla. He justified his stance by saying that everyone who needs bread and is able-bodied should be allowed to work within the community.1
He married Rufina Monteagudo Ponce in 1933, and after war broke out in 1936 he fought with the libertarian militias. After the war, Basiliso returned to his home village, and fearing reprisals from the fascists, he fled into the nearby mountains, where he was soon joined by his wife, sister and nephew. He joined the illegal anti-franquist guerrillas in 1946, and continued to fight the state forces for nearly six years in skirmishes. Basiliso, nicknamed El Manco de La Pesquera, quickly became a legendary figure in the area due to his Robin Hood-like raids on rich landlords and his assistance to the local poor. Under increasing pressure from the Franquist authorities, Basiliso finally decided to flee to France, but was apprehended by the Guardia Civil on April 27, 1952 in Confrentes (Valencia). Sentenced to death, he was executed in the military barracks in Paterna (Valencia) on December 10, 1955. Basiliso was buried in an unmarked grave in Paterna, but his remains were recently exhumed (in 2005) and returned to La Pesquera to be interred in the cemetery of his native village.