The old Tefía penitentiary, closer to becoming an interpretation center for LGTBIQ+ memory
The old one Tefía Penitentiary Agricultural Colony, riding a Fuerteventura, where more than 300 people, some for their sexual orientation, is close to becoming a LGTBIQ+ memory interpretation center. At the beginning of 1954 The Franco authorities converted the old Majorero airfield into a place of confinement and punishment for social prisoners and homosexuals under the protection of the Vague Law y Criminals.
The minister's announcement Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres, of the initiation of the files of places of memory of Tephia and Chasm in Jinámar, in Gran Canaria, for "defend coexistence, present democracy and the future” would make possible an old demand of the association that fights in Fuerteventura for the rights of this group, Altihay.
"Professional ruffians, pimps and beggars"
From the pages of the newspaper The phalanx it was ensured that the center of Tephia was meant to confineparasites and undesirable subjects that clumsily damage human coexistence".
Months after its opening, franc modified, in July 1954, Law of Vagrants and Crooks, created in 1933 during the Second Republic, to equate the group of homosexuals with “professional ruffians, pimps and beggars".
The center, now converted into a youth hostel, remained open until 1966.
El investigador Carlos Hernandez de Miguel explains in his book The concentration camps de franc as "The captives were subjected to forced labor, such as breaking stones, digging ditches or carrying water from a well, since the facilities did not have a single source.".
Tefía 2.0: School of LGTBI+ activism
This Saturday, the façade of the center, today owned by the Cabildo island, was illuminated with the rainbow flag on the occasion of the activities that are being held this weekend within the framework of the second edition of Tefía 2.0: School of LGTBI+ activism, a formative, reflective and action space to train new generations.
The president of Altihay, Desireé Chacón, explains how this school tries to keep alive the spirit of what was Tephia and that arises with “the idea of uniting the past, present and future, since there is a new generation of activists who were born in equality, aged between 18 and 25, who have decided to dedicate themselves to the field of LGTBI activism".
"Tefía is a symbol of the LGTBI community and this school is associated with an old project of Altihay to recover the memory of what happened there and dignify the suffering of all the people who were there for the simple fact of being what they wereChacon explains.
The president of the aforementioned group assures that “rubbing with fingers" what Tephia "becomes a center of interpretation of the LGTBIQ+ historical memory” an initiative that has the support of the Cabildo of the island, of Canary Islands Government.