Ángeles Flórez Peón

Ángeles Flórez Peón (born 17 November 1918), known as Maricuela, is a Spanish activist and writer. She is the honorary president of the Socialist Youth of Asturias [ast] (JSA), and is considered to be the last living Spanish socialist militiawoman.[1]

Ángeles Flórez Peón
Born (1918-11-17) 17 November 1918 (age 101)
Blimea, Spain
Other namesMaricuela
OccupationActivist, writer
OrganizationSocialist Youth of Asturias [ast]
Political partySpanish Socialist Workers' Party
Graciano Rozada Vallina
m. 1946; died 2003)


Ángeles Flórez Peón was born in Blimea on 17 November 1918.[2] She began working at age 9, scrubbing floors. When she was 15, she lost her older brother Antonio, who was killed along with 23 other men during the suppression of the October 1934 revolutionary strike in Carbayín [es].[3] This event led to her joining the Socialist Youth in 1936, and after the July coup d'état, she became a militia member in Colloto. She was also a nurse in a field hospital in Gijón. Her nom de guerre, Maricuela, refers to the main character of a 1934 Jacinto Sánchez play entitled ¡Arriba los pobres del mundo!, which Flórez performed in at age 17, when the Spanish Civil War broke out.[3][4]

Flórez was arrested in October 1937, and initially sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, although this was later reduced to 9 years. In May 1938, she was transferred to Saturrarán prison in Gipuzkoa, where she remained until she was released on parole in August 1941. She lived for a time in Barakaldo, where her sister resided, and later left for Oviedo and L'Entregu, where she worked first in a chigre [ast], and later in a pharmacy.[2]

In 1946, Flórez married Graciano Rozada Vallina, who participated in the reorganization of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) of Asturias. Due to his involvement in these processes, Rozada decided to escape to France in August 1947 at the risk of being arrested. Flórez and their daughter met him in March 1948, after being involved in the death of a group of guerrillas. She remained polically active in exile, and participated in the PSOE's 7th Congress in 1958.[2][5]

She returned to Spain in 1960 to visit her family and was arrested at the border, although she was allowed to continue her visit to Asturias and then return to France. In 2003, her husband died in Saint-Éloy-les-Mines, and she returned to Asturias a year later, settling in Gijón, where she joined the JSA [ast] in early 2013.[2]

In 2014, at age 95, Flórez began using the social network Facebook to share her ideas and political opinions.[6] In addition, to help preserve the history of that era and its generation, in 2013 she published Memorias de Ángeles Flórez Peón 'Maricuela', in which she compiled testimonies from the Revolution of 1934 and the Civil War.[7] In 2018, she presented a book of her memoirs, Las sorpresas de Maricuela, at the Madrid Book Fair.[3]


In October 2016, the Club of 25 paid tribute to Ángeles Flórez, presenting her with an award for "her defense of freedom and democracy," which she received from Diario 16 director Cristina Fallarás.[8] The feminist association presents these awards annually with the objective of "making women and their problems visible". Other recipients included journalist Pepa Bueno and writer Almudena Grandes.[9]

On 21 October 2017, Flórez received the Pozu Fortuna Award, an honor presented annually by the Pozu Fortuna Forum Association in collaboration with the Mieres city council to "those people, organizations, or entities that have distinguished themselves in the achievement of actions or works that enhance the values of humanity, freedom, solidarity, peace, and defense of human rights."[10] The award ceremony took place around the Mieres well, site of one of the largest mass graves in Asturias.[11]


  • Memorias de Ángeles Flórez Peón 'Maricuela' (2009), José Barreiro Foundation
  • Las sorpresas de Maricuela (2013), Ediciones Trea, Gijón, ISBN 9788497047104


  1. ^ Nebot, Marta (5 June 2018). "Maricuela, la última miliciana socialista: 'Necesitamos una izquierda unida'" [Maricuela, the Last Socialist Militiawoman: 'We Need a United Left']. Público (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Flórez Peón, Ángeles" (in Spanish). Pablo Iglesias Foundation. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Martínez, Gabriela (6 June 2018). "Maricuela, la última superviviente de la milicia socialista, tiene casi 100 años" [Maricuela, the Last Survivor of the Socialist Militia, is Almost 100 Years Old]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  4. ^ Borraz, Marta (16 July 2016). "Maricuela, una de las últimas milicianas vivas: 'Luchábamos para defender la República y nos la robaron'" [Maricuela, One of the Last Living Militiawomen: 'We Fought to Defend the Republic and They Robbed Us']. eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Ángeles Flórez Peón, miliciana durante la Guerra Civil y exiliada en Francia" [Ángeles Flórez Peón, Militiawoman During the Civil War and Exile in France]. La Nueva España (in Spanish). 17 April 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2019 – via Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria.
  6. ^ Flórez Peón, Ángeles (29 October 2016). "Fui miliciana en la Guerra Civil y a los 97 años cuelgo mis opiniones políticas en Facebook" [I Was a Militiawoman in the Civil War and at 97 I Post My Political Opinions on Facebook]. El País Verne (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  7. ^ Vega, J. A. (8 June 2013). "Ángeles Flores Peón: 'Mi libro es una historia de amor a la libertad y compromiso político'" [Ángeles Flores Peón: 'My Book is a Story of Love for Freedom and Political Commitment']. La Nueva España (in Spanish). L'Entregu. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  8. ^ López Álvarez, Carmen (26 October 2016). "El Club de las 25 entrega sus premios anuales a la lucha femenina y la defensa de la igualdad" [The Club of 25 Presents its Annual Awards for Women's Struggle and the Defense of Equality]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  9. ^ Fuente, Alejandra de la (25 October 2016). "El Club de las 25 premia a Pepa Bueno, Almudena Grandes y Maricuela, entre otras" [The Club of 25 Awards Pepa Bueno, Almudena Grandes, and Maricuela, Among Others]. Diario 16 (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Galardón Pozu Fortuna" [Pozu Fortuna Award] (in Spanish). Mieres City Council. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  11. ^ Basteiro, C. M. (22 October 2017). "Ángeles Flórez Peón, 'Maricuela': 'Quiero que la izquierda se una para ganar todos'" [Ángeles Flórez Peón, 'Maricuela': 'I Want the Left to Unite to Attain Everything']. La Nueva España (in Spanish). Mieres. Retrieved 25 November 2019.

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