Person - Botella Asensi, Juan (1884-1942)

Botella Asensi, Juan (1884-1942)




Preferred form:

Botella Asensi, Juan (1884-1942)

Fechas de existencia:

Alcoy (Alicante, España)  1884-06-10 - México  1942-06-19


Spanish politician and lawyer that exiled due to the Spanish Civil War. He carried out his basic studies in Alcoy (Alicante, Spain), but he started to work at the age of 12 due to his father's death. Along his adolescence and until he was 19 years old, he focused on reading and writing, and published poems in the religious seminar "Siglo Católico". During this years, he conceived his social conscience and his liking for politics. He founded in 1907 the newspaper "Fraternidad", something that caused him to have problems with justice due to his publications and, from that year until 1937, he entered and went out of jail many times, he even was sentenced to death and later absolved. He tried to found a "Casa del Pueblo" in Alcoy, but he could not due to the government's refusal. In the same year, he started his political career by giving speeches, some of them were for the organization "Fraternidad Republicana". In 1911, he obtained a seat as city councillor of the Radical Republican Party (PRR) and was part of its executive committee, something that facilitated him the creation of the "Casa del Pueblo" in Alcoy. In 1912, he was designated city councillor of the City Hall of Alcoy. He was against the monarchy and wrote several articles criticizing it and describing it as useless. In 1914, he resumed his studies and, in 1916, he moved to Madrid in order to finish them, graduating in Laws and Teacher Education.

In 1918, he returned to Alcoy to reorganize his party and, at the same time, opened a lawyer's office in the capital city along with Álvaro Albornoz, where many important personalities of the age went. He was a good friend of writer Miguel de Unamuno, something that led him to become Secretary of the "Liga Española para la Defensa de los Derechos del Hombre y del Ciudadano", a non-governmental association that watched for the defense of the rights and freedom of men, and whose President was Unamuno. During the twenties, he was a frequent client of a pub in Madrid called "El Polar", where he met important personalities like José Ortega y Gasset. He founded with many of these people in 1928 the Radical Socialist Republican Party (PRRS) and was designated Secretary General. In 1930, he participated in the elaboration of his political ideology, and many of its subjects became articles of the subsequent Constitution of 1931. He submited his resignation in 1930 and participated in the Jaca uprising, something that caused his detention and later imprisonment in Madrid, where he stayed with other politics like Largo Caballero or Sánchez Albornoz. However, he was freed again.

In 1931, he was elected member of the Parliament of the II Republic and of the parliamentary committee that wrote the Constitution of 1931. In the same year, he joined the General Union of Workers (UGT) and, in 1932, was expelled from the party along with his friend Eduardo Ortega y Gasset, and both founded a new political party at the end of the year, "Izquierda Radical Socialista" (IRS), whose ideology was similar to the one of the PRRS. In 1933, along with Unamuno and other intellectuals, founded the "Comité de lucha antifascista" and was also given the task of the direction of the Ministry of Justice during the government of Alejandro Lerroux. He held the post since September until November. Since 1934 until the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, he struggled for solving his party's problems and tried to carry out an agreement with the rest of the Left parties.

In February 1936, the Left parties together run in the elections in the Popular Front, but he was excluded. His sons Virgilio y Ovidio Botella Pastor served in the front. In 1937, he dissolved the IRS and moved to Barcelona, from where he had to flee in January 1938 when the city was taken by the Nationalist faction. He first exiled in Paris, where he lived with his family for some months before going to Mexico. He arrived to Veracruz (Mexico) on board "Flandre" ship in June 1939 along with his family: his sons Virgilio, Claudio and Ovidio Botella Pastor; his daughters-in-law María Dolores Batalla Altamirano, Gloria Medina Higueras and Ángela Campos Arteaga; and his grandsons and granddaughter Claudio Botella Medina, and Ovidio and Ángela Botella Arteaga.

Once in Mexico, he wrote several books and tried to found a paper mill. In May 1939, his brother Evaristo, that had been Mayor of Alcoy, was executed by firearm. Juan knew about it when he was already in Mexico and marked him mentally.

He died in Mexico City the 19th June 1942. Many important personalities of the Republican policy in the exile attended to his burial.

Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date of the event: 1936 - 1939

Flandre (barco de vapor)

Description: Expedición que parte de Saint-Nazaire (Francia) y llega a Veracruz (México) en 1939

Location associated with the date: Veracruz (México)



Profesión (Es realizada por):


Profesión (Es realizada por):



Lugar de Llegada:

Veracruz (México) in 1939-11-07

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Alcoy (Alicante, España) in 1884-06-10

Lugar de Defunción:

México in 1942-06-19





Botella Pastor, Virgilio. Alted Vigil, Alicia. Entre memorias: las finanzas del gobierno republicano espanñol en el exilio . Virgilio Botella Pastor; edición e introducción de Alicia Alted Vigil. Sevilla: Editorial Renacimiento. 2002. 256 páginas.

Related Authorities

Family relationships :

Batalla Altamirano, María Dolores (1908-?)  - Collateral (Es suegro/a de)

Campos Arteaga, Ángeles (1912-?)  - Collateral (Es suegro/a de)

Botella Pastor, Claudio (1912-?)  - Progenitor (Es padre de)

Botella Pastor, Ovidio (1909-1996)  - Progenitor (Es padre de)

Botella Pastor, Virgilio (1906-1996)  - Progenitor (Es padre de)

See successors

Lerroux, Alejandro (1864-1949)  ( Es miembro del gobierno de )

Associative relations :

Ortega y Gasset, Eduardo (1882-1964)  ( Es socio de )

Partido Republicano Radical Socialista (España)  ( Es fundador de )

Servicio de Evacuación de Refugiados Españoles  ( Es titular de/ es beneficiario de/ es el presidente de; Recibe ayuda )

Unamuno, Miguel de (1864-1936)  ( Es colega/ amigo de )

Unión General de Trabajadores (España)  ( Es miembro de )


Producer of:

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