Ruiz Carnero, Constantino

Constantino Ruiz Carnero

Journalist, writer, politician (acting mayor of Granada in 1936 for two months). He was a member of El Rinconcillo and one of the founders in February 1926 of the Granada Athenaeum. He is also part of the driving group promoting the magazines gallo and Pavo devised by his friend García Lorca. In 1929, he organized a tribute to Margarita Xirgu and García Lorca on the occasion of the Granada premiere of Mariana Pineda. His articles in El Defensor de Granada(of which he was director) and previously in El Porvenir, El Noticiarioand El Heraldo, and his commitment to the postulates of the left during the Republic concentrate on him the animosity of the conservatives, including that of the CEDA MPRamón Ruiz Alonso, author of the complaint against Lorca.

In 1931, he published the first edition of his Silhouettes, a compilation of satirical articles in El Defensor signed with the pseudonym Constancio. He spends his childhood in the province of Jaén, but soon moves to Granada where he develops all his professional and literary activity. Ruiz Carnero is presented to the society of Granada as a playwright. His first theatrical success was Those Women, a play premiered in 1908 at the Cervantes Theater; two years later he staged a zarzuela: El País de Babia. Other dramatic pieces of his were The Bonfireand A Woman in the Shade.

Ruiz Carnero, director of El Defensor de Granada, a militant of the Republican left wing and councilman of the Granada City Council after the proclamation of the Republic, bears the hatred of the right despite being, according to Agustín Penón, “a man of liberal ideas, but very moderate”. He was assassinated on August 6, 1936.

As a journalist his first article appeared in 1904. But it was in 1915 when he joined the editorial staff of El Defensor de Granada, the publication of which he was appointed director in 1924, when he began a professional career focused on commitment to progressive values.

Federico García Lorca and the journalist Constantino Ruiz Carnero.
Federico García Lorca and the journalist Constantino Ruiz Carnero.

Ruiz Carnero, a militant of the Republican left wing and councilman of the Granada City Council after the proclamation of the Republic, bears the hatred of the right despite being, according to Agustín Penón, “a man of liberal ideas, but very moderate”. On October 8, 1934, he is arrested by the police on the occasion of a strike. In July 1935, the president of Acción Popular party, Francisco Rodríguez, accompanied by a thug, showed up at his home and, after alluding to an article with which he disagreed, assaulted him. El Defensor headlined on its front page the following day: “Politics, thuggery and barbarism. The president of Acción Popular of Granada raids the home of our Director to slander him and attack him in a cowardly manner”. The Galician poet Eduardo Blanco-Amor, who was visiting Lorca during those days, witnessed the incident: “It is not an everyday thing, when going to visit a friend and colleague, to see some guys who come out at that very moment to attack him in his own home and insult the worthy sister of this colleague with words of the harshest cruelty”.

Ruiz Carnero, far from being discouraged, was very critical of the CEDA party. El Defensor was one of the political targets of the most violent conservative groups. The military uprising led to the immediate closure of the newspaper -on July 20- and the arrest, on July 26, of its director. On August 6, a few hours before his execution, the Civil Government issued a leaflet authorizing the visit of his family. A few hours later he is beaten and tortured. A gunshot embedded the lenses of the glasses he was using. Thus, wounded and bleeding, he was taken to the cemetery to be shot at the cemetery walls. The journalist died on the way.

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