His death came in Guadalajara at the age of 92. He was born in Guadalajara on 19 January 1920 and even as a boy was obliged to earn a living in a climate of pennilessness and hunger. His parents were socialist-minded, but at the age of 14 he joined the CNT, his brother Emiliano already being a member (in fact he was one of the organisers of the Guadalajara CNT).
Come the outbreak of civil war in 1936, he joined the Rosemberg Battalion as a militian and later soldiered with the 49th Mixed Brigade. Following an incident with a lieutenant he was discharged from the army, only to re-enlist as soon as he was home in Guadalajara again.
He studied at the Armoured Forces military academy in Murcia under soviet instructors and was made tank sergeant. The end of the civil war found him in Levante and when an attempt to escape to France failed, he made for Guadalajara instead.
He witnessed the ferocious repression unleashed by Franco’s fascist regime. An uncle of his was executed and in March 1940 the death sentence was carried out on his brother Emiliano, a prisoner in Guadalajara. Canuto remembered how, on the day in question, visitors went to deliver food to Emiliano, only to be told that he had been transferred. Having asked after his whereabouts, they were then told at the town hall that Emiliano had been executed. Canuto could never forget the laughter of the priest and the Guadalajara Falangists at his brother’s funeral.
Canuto was posted to a labour battalion in Teruel along with 1,000 others from Guadalajara, spending two years there.
On his return he worked as a waiter and then in construction. During the Transition, he was actively involved in helping to refloat the CNT. He was buried in the graveyard in Guadalajara beside his brother.
[Translator note: His surnames were Marcos Centenera but since Marcos is very common he’d have been known as Centenera.]
From: cnt No 304, November 2012. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.