Capdevila, Ramon Vila, 1918-1963

Mugshot of Ramon Vila Capdevila.

A short biography of anarchist Ramon Vila Capdevila, ‘Caraquemada’, one of the last of the anti-Franco guerrillas to fall.

Ramon Vila Capdevila, or ‘Caraquemada’ (Burntface) was born in Peguera, near Berga, on the 2nd April 1918. From an early age he was a member of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union the CNT. He participated in the Figola uprising in 1932.

In April 1936 he was arrested in Castellon de a Plana after an intense shoot-out with the police in which his cousin Ramon Rives Capdevila and a policeman died and another was wounded.

Ramon got out of prison on the 18th July 1936 when the military uprising against the Republic which sparked the Civil War and Revolution took place. When Catalonia fell he went to France and was interned with other refugees.

In 1940 he escaped from the concentration camp at Argeles-sur-Mer in order to organise, with other companions, mobile armed action groups against Francoism. He fought in the Maquis in the French Resistance against the Nazis, and after the liberation of France renewed the struggle in Spain, specialising in acts of sabotage against the Francoist economy.

His last action was undertaken in August 1963 against electricity pylons, and on 7th of August, two members of the Guardia Civil, who were laying an ambush, fired on Ramon at 1 o’clock in the morning, close to the Balsereny Castle, an area of Manresa.

The last guerrilla did not die at once. His murderers let him bleed to death without giving him the slightest help. He lay in agony throughout the night. He was 45.

Edited by libcom the pamphlet The Anarchist Resistance to Franco - Biographical notes, by Antonio Tellez. £2, published by the Kate Sharpley Library.