1939-1943: The Pallarès Action Group

Dictator: Franco
Dictator: Franco

A short history of one of the small groups of anarchist guerrillas who fought in the Resistance to the dictatorship in Spain.

Submitted by Steven. on September 12, 2006

The Pallarés group was one of the very first anti-Franco urban guerrilla groups which sprung up after the end of the Spanish Civil War and Revolution of 1936-9, and the victory of the fascist and right-wing army of General Franco.

Named after its leader Joaquin Pallarès Tomás was, it started its operations almost as soon as the civil war ended in 1939, in and around Hospitalet, Santa Eulalia, Sans and La Torrasa (these being villages and districts in and around Barcelona).

Among the operations credited to it was the execution of the chief inspector of the Hospitalet police (on 30 April 1939), as well as a number of incidents in which police were disarmed or shot, and robberies were carried out. His group was made up of Catalans, plus some Aragonese from around Huesca.

In addition to guerrilla activity, they did remarkable work on the reorganisation of the Libertarian Youth of Catalonia, setting up the first post-war regional committee and Barcelona local committee. At the time of their arrest, three of the groups members (Pallars, Alvarez and Ruiz) held positions on the Libertarian Youth regional committee.

They were captured by the police in March 1943 and tortured; within days, Joaquin Pallarés – who displayed great integrity - was executed (on 29 March 1943) alongside Fransisco Alvarez, Fernando Ruiz, Francisco Atares, José Serra, Benito Santi, Juan Aquilla, Arguelles and Tresols; other members of the group - Vincente Iglesias, Jos Urrea, Manuel Gracia, Rafael Olalde and Hilaria Foldevilla - had their lives spared.