The police confidant, the rector of Sant Ferran, was scandalized with the nudity: “They were not violent young people, but if from time to time someone was agitated, we would give him four hosts . “
Far from a supposed tolerance and despite the idealization promoted by tourism marketing, the past hippie of Formentera is marked by the persecution and subsequent expulsion of hundreds of young people by Franco’s authorities, the Civil Guard and organized groups of Formentera in the 1968/70 period. Beginning in the summer of 1967, “summer of love”, Formentera and Ibiza became a stopover on the route that thousands of western youths set out for India and Afghanistan.
Since the arrival of the first “hairy” – as those young people, mostly American, British and French, who bathed naked, worked little and lived with less were known on the island – there were Formenterenses who showed their rejection, but at the same time , many residents welcomed those foreigners who rented houses even if they were in poor condition, consumed in bars and shopped in stores. As the book “The Francoist repression of the hippy movement to Formentera” points out, the authorities of the regime contemplated with concern the fact that the hippie collective was seen with complicity, even sympathy for a notable part of the population of Formentera, a tolerance that threatened to expand to the rest of the country. To clear up any questions about the morality prevailing in the Dictatorship, Franco’s leaders planned an operation to change the perception of those ragged young people who gave the island “an aspect of poverty, misery and abandonment” and with whom it had reached extreme never thought: it is very difficult to go to the beach without seeing several cases (of nudity) , according to one of the reports written by the rector of Sant Ferran, Pep Costa, who served as police confidant.
Original publication 07/23/2019
Posted on NatCorn 27th July 2019