Trescastro Medina, Juan Luis

juan Luis Trescastro

Lawyer and conservative politician with an extensive career, member of a family of great influence in the environment of Santa Fe. In 1934, he became a shareholder and member of the company managing the Granada bullring. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Francisco de Paula Trescastro, a well-known lawyer in the Vega area and friend of Federico García Rodríguez, father of García Lorca. Together with his friend Ramón Ruiz Alonso, a militant like him of the right-wing Acción Popular party, he has a direct influence on Lorca’s arrest. After the death of Federico, he is said to have boasted in the bars of Granada of having given him “two shots in the ass for being a faggot”, an improbable fact but that gave rise to misunderstandings and black legends.

His political career began early, as an extension of the family power: in 1904, he was elected councilman of Santa Fe for the Conservative Party, with the added responsibility of being the attorney of the City Council. After a failed attempt to occupy the post of second deputy mayor, he withdraws for a while to return in 1915 already as provincial deputy, a position he held in successive terms until, in 1924, the dictator Primo de Rivera dissolved the provincial councils by decree and appointed without the election of new deputies, among which Trescastro no longer appears.

After the military uprising of 1936, Trescastro and Ruiz Alonso became active persecutors and denouncers of all elements suspected of sympathizing with the left. Trescastro’s virulent character became criminal and obsessive.
After the proclamation of the Second Republic, he became a member of the Acción Popular party, a Catholic group that was the binder of the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Rights (CEDA) of José María Gil Robles. He began his friendship with Ramón Ruiz Alonso. The relationship between the two was so close that Trescastro is godfather to the first daughter of Ruiz Alonso, Elvira Ruiz Penella, who eventually erased the surnames of her father, like two of her three sisters, and became an actress with the name of Elisa Montes.

After the military uprising of 1936, Trescastro and Ruiz Alonso became active persecutors and denouncers of all elements suspected of sympathizing with the left. Trescastro’s virulent character became criminal and obsessive. According to the different investigations, on the afternoon of August 16 he appeared in his own car, an Oakland, license plate GR 2185, which he had put at the disposal of the new civil governor, accompanied by Ruiz Alonso and Federico Martin Lagos (other testimonies implicate Luis Garcia Alix) at the home of the Rosales family to arrest Garcia Lorca. They are preceded by a large police presence. Allegedly, Trescastro remained in the vehicle for fear of being recognized, as he was a distant relative of the Rosales.

This snapshot supposedly shows the moment on July 20, 1936, when the assault guards and Falangists took the Civil Government of Granada (now the Faculty of Law). The first vehicle is Juan Luis Trescastro's Oakland, with which they later went to arrest García Lorca. The photo was published in 'Ideal' four days later.
This snapshot supposedly shows the moment on July 20, 1936, when the assault guards and Falangists took the Civil Government of Granada (now the Faculty of Law). The first vehicle is Juan Luis Trescastro’s Oakland, with which they later went to arrest García Lorca. The photo was published in ‘Ideal’ four days later.

His direct participation in the execution of García Lorca is not proven despite his manifestations. Miguel Cerón, Federico’s friend, recalls that in a café in Zacatín he heard Trescastro say one day: “We have just killed Federico García Lorca and I gave him the coup de grace”.

Trescastro became a widow in 1934 and although he married again, he left no descendants. He died on February 17, 1954 at his home on Alhamar Street in Granada. The newspaper Patria, of the media chain of the Movement, published the obituary in which he appears with the title of illustrious and identified as “honorary superior chief of the civil administration, lawyer and former provincial deputy”.

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