Pla de las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo is bounded by Passeig Verdun and Carrer Pi i Molist. The small and sloping square contains several plaques commemorating very different events but with a common link: the fight against dictatorships
Barcelona is one of the cities with the largest number of exiles from Argentina taken in between 1976 and 1983, as a result of the military dictatorship in that country. This community is represented by entities such as the Commission of Solidarity with Relatives of the Disappeared (COSOFAM) which took the initiative to request an urban space dedicated to the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo association. So, the site was officially opened in homage to the mothers, grandmothers and other family members that, since 1977, have been gathering in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to demand the Argentinian government investigates the disappearance of their relatives during the dictatorship. Two commemorative plaques were put on the pavement of the square and a Memorial grove created in 1995 in the Nou Barris district itself, in Turó de Roquetes, in honour of Argentina’s victims.
A more recent addition is the round plaque located close to the zebra crossing, officially unveiled in 2004 in homage to the anti-Francoist libertarian resistance member Josep Lluís Facerías, who died at this spot on 30 August 1957. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Facerías enlisted with the Libertarian Youth at just16 years of age. He fought with the Republican army until his capture by the Francoist enemy, which resulted in incarceration in several prisons, concentration camps and labour battalions, lasting until 1945. Once released, he joined the anarchist movement, becoming a member of the CNT’s Graphic Industries Union. He took up the armed struggle once again, robbing banks, bombing office buildings and carrying out attacks. He was part of the best-known quartet of urban resistance fighters alongside Quico Sabaté, Marcel·lí Massana and Ramon Vila, alias “Caracremada” [burnt face].
On the day he died, Facerías was meant to meet a fellow party member around the area of the Institut Mental, but the latter had been intercepted and tortured the previous day until he confessed the time and place of the meeting. The police were waiting for Facerías on 30 August 1957 at the junction between Pi i Molist and C/ Urrutia where they fired at him until he fell into a ditch that today bears the plaque. When the police officers approached him, they found him dead, with a grenade in his hand, having died without time to set it off.
Homage is paid to him every 30 August, in front of the plaque, to remember the death of this urban resistance fighter who never gave up the fight against fascism and the Francoist dictatorship.
Address: Pla de les Madres de la Plaza de Mayo || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.435479000, 2.172214000