The Embassy of Spain sends from Mexico the first document to repatriate Rafael Altamira

The operation to repatriate the remains of Rafael Altamira to El Campello begins to receive support and bears its first fruits. The Spanish ambassador in Mexico has already sent the El Campello City Council the death certificate of the jurist from Alicante, thus taking the first step in a process that is expected long and cumbersome.

The highest-level Spanish and Mexican institutions have already begun to react very positively to this project by the mayor of El Campello, Juanjo Berenguer (PP), and Rafael Altamira’s family to bring the mortal remains of the prestigious international humanist and jurist from the cemetery of Mexico City to the cemetery of El Campellowhere his parents are buried and to whom he wanted to retire once he retired, as he announced before going into exile in the Central American country in 1944.

The mayor with Altamira’s great-grandson at the end of April, when they agreed to start the repatriation process


The first institution to take decisive and firm steps has been the Embassy of Spain in Mexico, directed by Juan López-Dóriga Pérez, who has entrusted the consul General, Manuel Hernández Ruigómez, the work of logistical support to the campellera cause. The consul, as a first action, has located the certificate of the death of Rafael Altamira, registered in the Civil Status Registry of the consulate on April 3, 1952, ten months after his death.

That document, written by hand, includes the same death certificate of Rafael Altamira, which occurred exactly at 3:00 p.m. on June 1, 1951at home in the Mexican capital.

Death certificate of Rafael Altamira, sent by the Embassy of Spain in Mexico


The next step, also entrusted to Manuel Hernández, will consist of the exact location of the tomb of the writer and his wife in the Spanish pavilion of the cemetery of the Mexican capital, as well as facilitate direct contact between Mexican authorities to process the request for repatriation of the couple.

Likewise the Deputationthe Generalitat and the Government have expressed to the Consistory the will to to collaborate in this initiative, locating at meetings coming soon to materialize this help, highlighting the commitment shown by the president of the Diputación Carlos Mazonand the Spanish ambassador in Mexico.

Last week the mayor sent letters to the president of the Diputación; the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig; the External subjects minister, Jose Manuel Albares; the culture minister, Miquel Iceta; the Ambassador of Spain in MexicoJuan López-Dóriga, and the Ambassador of Mexico in SpainQuirino Ordaz.

The tomb of Rafael Altamira in Mexico presents a great abandonment and deterioration JOSE M. PORTILLO


In all cases, Berenguer explained in his letter the reasons that led him to propose the project, asking institutional support and, in the case of the Spanish authorities -Diputación, Generalitat and central government-, share expenses of the transfer process to El Campello of the mortal remains of Altamira and his wife, Pilar Redondo, whose cost unknown.

The first mayor and the great-grandson of the humanist, Ignacio Ramos Altamira, agreed two months ago to start this complex process. The jurist, born in Alicante in 1866, died in the capital of Mexico in 1951, where he lived exiled and where his remains rest in a tomb located in the Spanish Pavilion of the cemetery of the Federal District, in a tomb that presents a great deterioration, abandoned and with the split headstone. And all this despite being a universal Alicante native, since he was not only the first Spaniard to form part of what is now known as the International Tribunal in The Hague, but he was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and was awarded an honorary doctorate. by the universities of Bordeaux, Paris, Mexico, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Columbia and Cambridge.

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The Embassy of Spain sends from Mexico the first document to repatriate Rafael Altamira