Former Spanish police officer Antonio González Pacheco, investigated for torture during the Franco regime and known as ‘Billy el niño’, has died today at a Madrid hospital due to Covid-19.

González Pacheco is one of the symbols of torture during the Franco regime and a clear example of impunity during the subsequent years of transition and democracy in Spain. He was even awarded a silver medal for his ‘police merits’ during the democratic period, for which he received a higher life pension.

Attempts by the Argentine judiciary to extradite him and try him for the crimes committed during the Franco dictatorship were unsuccessful, because the Spanish judiciary always prevented it. One year ago, for the first time, a Spanish court agreed to open an investigation into crimes against humanity against Pacheco and four other former police officers.

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