Have you heard of Manuel Cortes Quero? Most likely not. He was a Spanish politician and the last Republican mayor of Mijas (Málaga) between 3 March and 23 November 1936 and one of the so-called ´moles´ during Franco times. Who are the ´moles´ one might ask? In simple terms they were the people who opposed Franco´s regime, the dissenters who were forced to operate in secret to avoid persecution. Some “moles” within the Franco regime could have been members of the Spanish government, military, or security forces who secretly sympathized with or supported opposition movements.
Franco regime was highly efficient and brutal in suppressing dissent and opposition. The regime had a vast network of informants and secret police known as the “Gestapo Española” or “Spanish Gestapo,” which ruthlessly hunted down and neutralized any perceived threats. The political repression during this era was severe, resulting in widespread human rights abuses and censorship. They were sad times for many, and whilst Franco had its supporters, it is now widely accepted that the country and its people suffered during his dictatorship.
So coming back to Manuel Cortes Quero, he was the ´mole´ who spent 30 years in hiding in his home in Mijas in a secret room behind a cupboard. He and his family would lock themselves in that room during the day and come out at night for fresh air and exercise. And Mijas pueblo has this magnificent and charming museum that recreated Manuel´s house. You can read more about Manuel Cortes here and about the details of the museum by following this link and I 100% recommend a visit if you are in the area.