Cordoba, Antonio Zapata, 1908-2000

A short biography of construction worker, anarchist and Spanish Civil War fighter Antonio Zapata Cordoba.

Submitted by Steven. on September 27, 2003

Antonio Zapata Cordoba was born in San Javier in Murcia, Spain in 1908. The youngest of four brothers of a family of day labourers, he attended a rationalist school set up by miners from the age of 5, which had a profound effect on him. At the age of 9 he had to start work in the fields. He went to Barcelona at the age of 12 here his brothers were working.

There he worked first as a market gardener, then in a belt buckle factory, before going on to the building sites. He became involved in the anarcho-syndicalist trade union, the CNT, taking part in activities during the years of repression under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship. He was imprisoned for his activities for the first time at the age of 22.

Here, he came in contact with the flower of the militants of the Spanish anarchist movement, which was a school for his own anarchism.

With the declaration of the Republic in 1931, he was freed and militated in the CNT in the shanty town of Gracia. He was a member of the Groups of Confederal Defence, which physically defended the CNT from the attacks of the bosses and the State.

He took part in the building workers strike, and then in the Civil War of 1936-9 joined in the fighting against the right-wing coup led by General Franco. He became a member of the Control and Administration Commission of Urban Property in Barcelona. He fought on the front, and like so many others had to flee to France.

He settled in Toulouse, remaining a supporter of the CNT until his death in January 2000.

Nick Heath