My family and the slave trade
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How I discovered that my ancestors participated in the slave trade

In the 19th century, the city of Barcelona was an important port in the transatlantic trade between Spain and its colonies.

In 2018, an intense polemic broke out in the Catalan capital after the city council decided to remove a statue of Antonio López, a well-known merchant and patron who was linked to the slave trade.

This controversy led BBC News Mundo journalist Jaime González to consider whether it was possible that any of his ancestors, who, like López, were part of the economic elites of nineteenth-century Barcelona, participated in the slave trade.

González traveled to Chile and Barcelona to trace the trajectory of two of his ancestors and to meet the descendants of the people who were enslaved, who today continue to demand recognition of their history and rights.

Video by Olivia Lace-Evans

  • 31 May 2019