Conspiracy 101

The notion of conspiracy, which has its etymological source in Latin (contubernĭum), is used to name an agreement or an association that is objectionable or unworthy. The term can be applied to illicit agreements, conspiracies or other understandings that deserve repudiation.

For example: “I think Ariel has a collusion with Ramírez”, “The manager was outraged to discover a collusion between several of his employees and the directors of the competition”, “I will not tolerate any collusion within this political party ”.

According to, the idea has been used to define various alliances throughout history, always with a pejorative connotation. Thus we can find references to the conspiracy of Jews, Communists and Freemasons, a supposed association between these groups to control the world. This unlikely alliance is used by anti-Semites, anti-communists and groups opposed to Freemasonry.

The followers of Francisco Franco, on the other hand, baptized the IV Congress of the European Movement that took place in the German city in 1962 as the Munich Conspiracy. The rating tried to minimize the participation of more than a hundred politicians from Spain who opposed Francoism.

More precisely, this event took place on June 5 and 6, and 118 politicians from Spain participated in the meeting, belonging to almost all the organizations that opposed the Franco regime. Needless to say, the latter was shocked at the news and accused all his participants of being traitors.

To give some context to the situation, we must go back to the beginning of April 1962, a particularly difficult spring for the Spanish. At that time, an unprecedented strike of 150,000 mining workers took place; the first well to stop its activity was the Nicolasa de Mieres, and little by little the other mines in Asturias joined.

The result of this strike, which lasted for two months, was an increase in wages and the price of coal, a benefit for businessmen. Not only did the Asturian miners rise up, but the strike included other industries from various provinces. Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya and Asturias received the state of emergency decree by the regime on May 4, and only eight days later the national press was forced to minimize the mining conflict through a note, in which it also highlighted the virtues of the Asturians.

This fact did not go unnoticed by the opponents of the Franco regime, who could not ignore the repression that took place during the strike that ended in a way so far removed from the legitimacy that the workers should pursue. The strength of their plans to overthrow Franco grew day by day, sometimes under the nose of the regime itself, making use of certain privileges typical of political life.

About eighty of the anti-Franco militants who participated in the Munich conspiracy were in Spain, while the rest had been exiled, especially republicans and socialists. For the meeting to be viable, the communists were not admitted.

Beyond this type of use, the collusion or contubernium is also still taken in the proper sense that the Romans gave it. In this case, it should be mentioned that a collusion was a kind of tent or tent in which eight soldiers lived during their training or campaign. The term also allowed to denominate the military unit that these soldiers formed.

The conspiracies, in turn, could be grouped by ten to form a centuria, another unit of the Roman army. In command of the centuries was the centurion, a high-ranking officer.


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