They went looking for the then Aviation Captain José Ignacio Domínguez in July 1975 to arrest him, like his colleagues from the Democratic Military Union (UMD), but he was in France on vacation and involuntarily became a spokesman in exile for the clandestine organization of anti-Franco military. In December 1977, the dictator already dead, the UMD dissolved, he was sentenced to seven years in prison and expelled from the Armed Forces. He had to spend another decade for democracy to overcome the resistance of the most immobile sector of the Army and the úmedos ―as they called the members of the UMD― could rejoin active service; although the then Defense Minister, Narcís Serra, warned them that they would never assign them a destination, so they all ended up asking to be transferred to the reserve.
36 years have passed since then and now retired Lieutenant Colonel José Ignacio Domínguez, lawyer and airline pilot, continues to be a plague, at least for many of his comrades in arms. Next September will be the 60th anniversary of the entry of the XIX promotion of the General Air Academy, to which he belongs, in the center where Air Force pilots are trained. For this reason, several former classmates have begun to organize a class visit to the San Javier academy and other Air Force units in Murcia. But the ex-member of the UMD has been told that he is not invited.
It is not the first time that he has been declared persona non grata. In 2010, a similar event was planned at the Morón de la Frontera air base (Seville), on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first F-85 Saber in Spain, to which all the pilots who flew this aircraft model were invited. , but at the last moment Domínguez was banned for having made the alleged mistake of accepting the military medal “that the opportunistic socialist government” had awarded to the former members of the UMD, “also calling them brave.” “I imagine you know that he has outraged the Armed Forces,” the organizers wrote to him.
This time, no one has explained the reason for the veto. The main promoter of the initiative, retired Lieutenant General Pedro Bernal, assures that it is not an official act, but a “meeting of friends”, of retired soldiers who have recovered their civil rights and on whom “no one can impose Your presence”. According to Bernal, nothing has been decided yet, nor has authorization been requested to visit the San Javier academy. The only clear thing is that Domínguez is not welcome. Bernal assures that he does not have any problem with exúmedo, but the same does not happen with other ex-colleagues. “People don’t want to meet with him and you can’t force them at gunpoint,” he alleges. When asked why, he replies that it is “a personal matter.”
On November 10, 2020, 38 members of the XIX promotion of the General Air Academy published a letter to the King in which, after expressing their “deep concern” over the alleged government attempt to surreptitiously modify the Constitution, they veiledly encouraged Felipe VI to skip his constitutional role, promising him support if he did. The letter was part of a long-range maneuver with which they sought to cause a cascading effect. It was followed by a similar letter signed by 73 retired officers of the XXIII promotion of the General Military Academy (Zaragoza) and many others were already underway, but the movement stopped dead when the promotion’s chat, called La 19 del Air. Major General Francisco Beca, the same one who headed the letter to the King, wrote in that WhatsApp group: “I trust that another matarrojo will come out, but this time that it will not fall short. Twenty-six million must be annihilated, including children”.
The Prosecutor’s Office archived the investigation into the chat, alleging that the phrases, although “inappropriate, excessive and unfortunate”, belonged to a private conversation and did not constitute a crime, but this did not prevent the opprobrium from falling on La 19 del Aire. Paradoxically, its members did not distance themselves from General Beca, the first signatory of the letter to the King and author of the continuous calls for a bloody coup d’état that dotted the chat, but from Domínguez, whom many accused of having leaked it, which he always denied. The serious thing would not be so what was said, but that it was known.
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The exúmedo has written to the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, to ask her not to authorize the visit of her promotion to the San Javier Academy if the organizers of the event continue to veto him, since this would mean allowing the violation of article 14 of the Constitution ―which prohibits any discrimination for ideological or other reasons― in an installation of the Armed Forces, whose mission is precisely to guarantee it.
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