Glossary

Caciquismo: A word derived from 'cacique', the name denoting an Indian chief in the Spanish Empire. In the nineteenth century, and up to the Republic, it referred to the common organisation of social and political control, whereby the cacique controlled the elections and handed out favours to his political cronies.

Comités: In the towns and cities where the military uprising was unsuccessful or the military rebels were defeated, the workers' unions and parties set up comités under different categories (e.g. revolutionary, popular, war), whose task was to organise armed resistance and the new revolutionary order.

Nationalists: The name by which the officers who rose up in July 1936 defined themselves and by which General Franco's camp, opposing the republican or 'red' camp, came to be known.

Paseo (a walk): A euphemism for murder in the early months of the civil war, particularly in the summer of 1936. Dar el paseo (to take a walk) meant to seize the victim, murder him and leave him in a ditch, well, mineshaft or common grave.

Pronunciamiento: An official declaration by a group of army officers stating their opposition to the current government. This might develop into a coup d'état if it gains enough support from the rest of the army.

Rojos: Term used by the Nationalists to denote the enemy, whether they were republican, socialist, Communist or anarchist. As the Nationalists took more cities during the war, the term was used disrespectfully to denote all those on the republican side, in 'red' Spain, human beings with no right to live.

Saca (removal): Term used in the civil war to denote the operation of removing prisoners from gaol to murder them in the countryside, usually at night. There were sacas on both home fronts, but most occurred in November 1936 in the Madrid gaols, from where tens of thousands of officers and right-wingers were 'removed' and taken to Paracuellos del Jarama to be murdered.

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