Roldán Quesada, Horacio

Lawyer, court attorney, farmer. The researchers Miguel Caballero and Pilar Góngora attribute to him a cardinal role in the events that led to the escape of Federico García Lorca from the St. Vincent Farmhouse to the house of the poet Luis Rosales and his subsequent arrest and murder. The brothers Horacio and Miguel Roldán were part, along with other individuals from Pinos Puente and the hamlet of Asquerosa (Disgusting) (now Valderrubio), of the group of uncontrolled people who stormed the St. Vincent Farmhouse on August 9 under the pretext of finding the whereabouts of the landlord’s brothers, Gabriel Perea, accused of having murdered José and Daniel Linares, brothers-in-law of Enrique García Puertas, The Pig Trader, mayor of Pinos Puente after the military uprising. Angelina Cordobilla, the servant of the family of the Socialist mayor of Granada, Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, who was shot on August 16, witnessed the assault and said that Federico was also beaten by the mob.

The Roldans, unlike the Garcias, were conservative, despised liberals like the poet’s father, who became a councilman in the Granada City Council, and had their own political aspirations. In addition, between the two surnames there is an inextricable skein of misunderstandings and atavistic hatred.

The temporal and spatial coincidences of the two families suggest a deep persecution and enmity. Horacio studies at a high school in Malaga and then Law at the University of Granada. There he meets Francisco García Lorca and is taught by Fernando de los Ríos, Federico’s advocate. The Roldáns, unlike the Garcias, were of conservative ideals, despised the liberals like the poet’s father, who became a councilman of the City Council of Granada, and had their own political aspirations. In addition, between the two surnames there is an inextricable skein of disagreements and atavistic hatred.

St. Vincent Farmhouse, with part of the Lorca family getting some fresh air at the door. / Photo: FGL Foundation
St. Vincent Farmhouse, with part of the Lorca family getting some fresh air at the door. / Photo: FGL Foundation

Horacio belongs to a family of five siblings. Maria, the eldest, is married to Antonio Fernandez Sanchez, an artillery captain who rebelled along with the commander José Valdés, the civil governor who led the repression in Granada. Miguel, the third of the brothers, accompanies Horacio in the raid he makes on August 9 on the St. Vincent Farmhouse. The fourth sister married one of the sons of Francisca Alba Sierra, the woman who inspired The House of Bernarda Alba, a play written in 1936 but not premiered until 1945 and in Buenos Aires, which further stoked the old animosity. A few days before the coup against the Republic, Federico announced in the press that he had finished The House of Bernarda Alba, a play that, according to him, dealt with “Andalusian sexuality”. The news reached the heirs of Francisca Alba de Valderrubio.

In many cases, the Roldáns followed the wake of Federico’s father as if it were an arm wrestling match between rivals; Alejandro Roldán, Horacio’s father, tried, like Federico García Rodríguez, to get a seat as a councilman in Granada for the Conservative Party, but he did not succeed. According to Caballero y Góngora, the Roldáns were linked by a close friendship with Juan Luis Trescastro, the lawyer who, after Lorca’s murder, boasted in taverns of having given him “two shots in the ass for being a faggot.”.

Horacio Roldan died on October 10, 1971 in Granada.

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