Torres Escartín, Rafael, 1901-1939

Members of the Los Solidarios group
Members of the Los Solidarios group

A short biography of Rafael Torres Escartín, a Spanish anarchist pastry cook who was active in the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union and Los Solidarios action group.

Submitted by Steven. on September 2, 2014

A native of the Ayerbe comarca, Rafael Liberato Torres Escartín seems to have been born in Sabiñánigo in 1901.

His contacts with anarchism date back to his student days (he was a disciple of Ramon Acín in Huesca) and came through his family as well.

He was an early recruit to the cause for the action groups1 : he belonged to the Crisol group in Zaragoza (1922) and then of Los Solidarios. He was a CNT member from at least 1918 in the Foodstuffs Union (he was a pastry cook).

As a member of Los Solidarios, he was involved in numerous operations: in 1923, along with Francisco Ascaso, he executed Cardinal Soldevilla and within a short time was involved in the robbery of the Bank of Spain branch in Gijón, as a result of which he was arrested in Oviedo (2 September 1923) and tortured.

He escaped but was recaptured on the basis of information given by the clergy and was tried in March 1925 and sentenced to death (a sentence later commuted). Jailed in Santoña, he lost his sanity and on his release in 1931 had to be committed to an asylum in Reus.

When Barcelona fell to the fascist troops, he was taken out of the asylum and shot in Barcelona on 21 January 1939.

Taken from
Source: A Historical Encyclopaedia of Spanish Anarchism, by Miguel Iñiguez

  • 1 libcom note: the action groups were informal guerrilla groups linked to the CNT union