6th Ceferino Machado Guerrilla Brigade - 6.ª Brigada Guerrillera Ceferino Machado

6th Guerrilla Brigade "Ceferino Machado"
Active 1939 - 1955
country Spain
Rama/s Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (plain).svg Anti-Franco maquis
Function Guerrilla warfare
Culture and history
Meeting "Ceferino Machado"

The 6th Guerrilla Brigade "Ceferino Machado" was a guerrilla unit that operated in Asturias , Cantabria and, to a lesser extent, in León and Palencia after the end of the Civil War in the area. Its last activities took place in 1957.


This unit that acted during the first postwar years received the name of 6th Guerrilla Brigade "Ceferino Machado" as a tribute to its first leader, Ceferino Roiz Sánchez ("Machado"), born in Tresviso ( Tresviso , Cantabria), former mayor de Peñarrubia and a UGT union member at the Electra de Viesgo in Urdón . The unit was also known as Brigadier Machado , Brigadier Machado of the Picos de Europa , Brigade Picos de Europa , Brigade Guerilla Valleys Llaneda and 6th Brigade Guerilla North .


After the Francoist occupation of Cantabria ( Santander fell on August 26, 1937 and Tresviso , the last town in Republican hands, on September 17) and Asturias ( Avilés and Gijón fell on October 21) the North Front of the War disappeared Civil . However, many combatants were scattered throughout the mountains of Asturias who, having been trapped, tried to return to their places of origin in Asturias itself, in Santander, in León and Palencia. Some of these combatants stayed in the mountains and, together with people who escaped Franco's repression, would form guerrilla groups ("maquis") in the more mountainous areas.

In the Liébana area, a nucleus of guerrillas was formed, made up of Ceferino Machado (from La Hermida), three residents from Tresviso, three from Colio and about six from Bejes , who made up the Machado Brigade . More ambushes were added to this initial nucleus (mainly between 1943 and 1944), and the brigade was divided into several groups to facilitate its defense before the Civil Guard . During the period in which the brigade was active, it operated in Liébana, Peñarrubia, Cabrales , Llanes , Peñamellera and Ribadedeva , as well as sporadically inOnís , Cangas , Amieva , Ponga , Sajambre , Valdeón , La Pernía , Herrerías , Cabezón de la Sal , Valdáliga and Ruiloba . Its members, mostly Cantabrian and Asturian, also included a Toledo and an Andalusian from France as part of the "Pasionaria" Brigade .

After the arrival of these communist members of the Pasionaria Brigade, the guerrilla forces were reorganized in Cantabria, forming the Northern Guerrilla Group , with a confluence point in Torrelavega . Thus, the three brigades that operated in the region divided the territory, operating the Machado Brigade in the western part of Cantabria, from Torrelavega to the Picos de Europa ; the Cristino Brigade between Torrelavega and Campoo ; and the Brigada Malumbres between Torrelavega and Bilbao . Likewise, communications with the guerrillas of the Asturian basin and with the PCE in France were improved.

By 1946 the brigade was divided into three groups for operational reasons: one group, led by Juan Fernández Ayala ("Juanín"), acted between the Deva and the Besaya ; another, directed by Hermenegildo Campo Campillo ("Gildo el Tresvisano") did it in the Picos de Europa; and the one directed by Quintiliano Guerrero ("El Tuerto") did so in the Sierra de Cuera .

Over the years the Civil Guard was decimating the guerrilla forces, the repression reduced their support in the towns and the PCE changed its strategy, abandoning the insurgent plans in Spain and encouraging the maquis to go to France. In this way, the Machado Brigade gradually weakened until its disappearance. With the passage to France of José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo"), Pedro Marcos Campillo and Santiago Rey Roiz in October 1955 the brigade was liquidated as such, remaining in Cantabria only "Juanín" and Francisco Bedoya Gutiérrez ("Bedoya" ), who died in 1957 at the hands of the Civil Guard.

Main actions of the Machado Brigade


  • May: Alejandro Martínez Sánchez ("Jandro") is arrested after a confrontation between members of the Machado Brigade and the Civil Guard in Rábago ( Herrerías ).


  • September: on the 9th the Civil Guard captures Mateo Campo López, Hermenegildo Campo ("Gildo") and José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo") in Cañimuelles (Tresviso). When they are led by Tresviso they try to escape, Mateo Campo dying and "Gildo" being arrested, who is imprisoned.
  • November: on the 2nd the maquis rob several residents of Pesaguero at the Peña del Esgoviu, when they were returning from a fair in Potes .


  • October: the Civil Guard captures Mauro Roiz Sánchez, leader of the brigade, in a cave near Bejes.


  • July: after receiving weekly beatings at the Civil Guard barracks in Potes, "Juanín" goes into the mountains, subsequently contacting the brigade.
  • August: on the 20th, Lorenzo Sierra González y Manjón ("El Salamanquino") escaped from the Potes prison. Days later Pedro González Cabeza ("Pedrín") escaped from the same prison; The three escapees form with "Juanín" the party of the Cereceda valley , part of the Machado Brigade.
  • September: the Civil Guard kills the guerrilla Ignacio Roiz Sánchez near Bejes.
  • December: on the 5th "Pedrín" dies in a confrontation between the Civil Guard and the party from the Cereceda valley, between San Glorio and Vejo ; the rest of the maquis manages to escape.


  • February: Lorenzo Sierra goes to France.
  • May: on the 25th the member of the Machado Brigade and the PCE Segundo Bores Otamendi is wounded on the way to La Hermida, takes refuge in "El Doblillo", Bejes and when he is besieged, he decides to end his life before being arrested.
  • September: Máximo Campillo and Rufino Fernández, from Sotres , join the brigade .
  • October: the communist leader from Santander Alejandro del Cerro Gutiérrez joins the brigade, after the fall of the Santander committee of the PCE.


  • April: on the 6th, several members of the brigade, in collaboration with guerrillas from other parties, rob the offices of the Reocín mines . On the 22nd, while celebrating the allied victory in Europe in World War II , "Machado" and two guards die in Pandébano in a confrontation between the Civil Guard and the Machado Brigade; six residents of Sotres who participated in the celebration flee with the guerrillas, who simulate a trial and shoot the guard who they presumed had betrayed them. Six other residents of Sotres also flee to the mountain, including two women (a pregnant woman who will give birth in the forest). The members of the brigade elect Santiago Rey Roiz as their new chief.
  • September: Jesus de Cos Borbolla ( "Paul") and santoñés José Largo Sampedro ( "Peter") deserting military service in El Ferrol and join the brigade.
  • October: on the 10th, members of the brigade kill two neighbors (Bernabé Ortiz and José Tejón) when they carry out two robberies in Sierra de Ibio and Virgen de la Peña .


View of Sotres, place of the Pact of the same name
  • March: after a disastrous operation, four of the 48 members of the Pasionaria Brigade who infiltrate from France join the Machado Brigade; someone else joins the Asturian guerrilla. The two women and one of the men from Sotres who had fled to the mountains in April 1945 after the events in Pandébano surrendered.
  • April: as a result of negotiations that culminate in the Pact of Sotres and in which the Civil Guard agrees not to retaliate, the other nine residents of Sotres fled to the mountains after the events in Pandébano, including Rufino Fernández, Perfecto López and José Sánchez ("El Chino").
  • July: Members of the brigade blow up several columns of Electra de Viesgo, cutting the line between Urdón and Puente San Miguel .
  • November: on the 26th the maqui "Madriles" dies, managing to escape Felipe Matarranz González ("José Lobo"), Quintiliano Guerrero Fernández and "Gildo el Tresvisano" (the latter, wounded) after a confrontation with the Civil Guard in La Borbolla ( Llanes). The following day the guards detained "José Lobo" in La Franca (Ribadedeva).


  • February: Jesús de Cos ("Pablo") leaves the guerrilla, going to France.
  • August: José Largo Sampedro ("Pedro") dies in a confrontation with the Civil Guard near Castillo Pedroso when he was trying to reach France; Manuel Díaz López ("Manolo el Repollero") manages to flee to Bilbao.
  • Autumn: there is a confrontation between Quintiliano Guerrero, José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo") and the Civil Guard in Asiego (Cabrales); Quintiliano is wounded, although both members of the brigade manage to escape. Quintiliano becomes known as "El Tuerto".


  • January: on the 27th the Civil Guard kills 16 Asturian maquis in an operation with guards infiltrated in the games in which they use a landing of arms from France as a decoy. The members of the Machado Brigade are suspicious and do not attend the appointment.
  • August: arrest of several suspects of collaborating with the brigade, among them Francisco Bedoya Gutiérrez .
  • October: on the 25th the Civil Guard kills the guerrilla Daniel Rey Sánchez in the vicinity of Labarces (Valdáliga)


  • September: on the 12th a guard dies in a confrontation with members of the brigade in Canal del Palo (Sierra de Cuera).
  • October: on the 26th Alejandro del Cerro Gutiérrez commits suicide, seriously ill, in a cabin that is set on fire by the Civil Guard, in Robriguero (Peñamellera).


  • January: José Sánchez, a member of a Civil Guard counterpart who tries to infiltrate the brigade, kills Francisco Llamazares Villar ("Pancho") in Ruenes (Peñamellera).
  • October: on the 28th a court martial is held in Santander against 69 residents of western Cantabria, accused of collaborating with the brigade. Several are sentenced to prison, among them Francisco Bedoya.


  • July: members of the brigade kill Agapito Bada Campo, municipal secretary of Tresviso on Mount Barreda on the 3rd.


In the Potes cemetery are located the grave of Juan Fernández Ayala "Juanín" (left) and the common grave of Hermenegildo Campo Campillo "Gildo", Joaquín Sánchez Arias "Pin el Asturiano", as well as the family that sheltered the latter, composed of Dominador Gómez, María del Carmen Genara and their daughter, Emilia del Carmen Gómez. (right)
  • February: Francisco Bedoya escapes from his imprisonment in Fuencarral ( Madrid ), joining the six members that still remain in the Machado Brigade.
  • May: on the 14th another council of war is held in Santander against 14 residents of Bejes and Tresviso accused of collaborating with the guerrillas.
  • July: on the 7th, José González Tejerina was kidnapped in San Salvador de Cantamuda (Palencia). On the 20th there was a shooting in Tama between members of the brigade and the Civil Guard; "Gildo el Tresvisano", "Pin el Asturiano" and Civil Guard sergeant José Sanz Díaz die; "El Tuerto" flees wounded, and the guards shoot the family of the house where the maquis were, then burning it. On the 29th there is a new council of war against 39 Lebani people accused of supporting the guerrillas.


  • April: "El Tuerto" dies on the 16th after a confrontation with the Civil Guard in the Valdediezma mountain (Tresviso); José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo") manages to escape, wounded, to Lon ( Camaleño ).
  • July: on the 20th, Corporal José García Gómez dies in a confrontation with "Juanín" and "Bedoya" in Pando ( Ruiloba ).


  • July: on the 19th, members of the brigade kill the Indian Benigno Ferreiro in the Peñas de la Hoz, between Camasobres and Piedrasluengas (Palencia) , after a failed liberation attempt by the Civil Guard.


  • June: on the 29th José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo"), Pedro Marcos Campillo and Santiago Rey Roiz kidnap Emilio María Bollain, son of the industrialist and attorney in Cortes Emilio Bollaín, in Valmaseda ( Vizcaya ), achieving a ransom of one million and half pesetas .
  • October: at the beginning of the month "El Tranquilo", Pedro Marcos Campillo and Santiago Rey Roiz leave the guerrillas and go to France; there are only two ambushes in Cantabria, "Juanín" and "Bedoya". On the other hand, on the 8th there is another council of war in Santander against 25 Lebaniegos.


  • July: on the 4th a supreme council of military justice is held in Madrid to review the council of war of October 8, 1955 against 25 Lebaniegos in Santander.
  • August: on the 28th "Juanín" and "Bedoya" managed to escape from the Civil Guard after a failed kidnapping attempt in Vega de Liébana .
  • September: the Francoist authorities banish several families from Valderredible accused of helping "Juanín".


National highway in Islares, near the place where the Civil Guard ambushed "Bedoya"
  • April: on the 21st "Juanín" and "Bedoya" kidnap a Bárago neighbor , freeing him in exchange for 18,000 pesetas. On the 24th the Civil Guard shot down "Juanín" at the Vega de Liébana mill curve ; "Bedoya" manages to escape.
  • December: on the 1st the Civil Guard, in a prepared operation, machine-gunned the motorcycle near Islares ( Castro-Urdiales ) on which "Bedoya" is driven by his brother-in-law José San Miguel on the way to France. San Miguel, who collaborated with the authorities, dies, while "Bedoya" flees seriously wounded up the mountain. The next day the guards found "Bedoya" 400 meters from the summit of Mount Cerredo, finishing him off with a shot.

Main members of the Machado Brigade

These are some members of the Machado Brigade since 1939, in alphabetical order:

  • Francisco Bedoya ("Bedoya"): active between 1952 and 1957.
  • Hermenegildo Campo Campillo ("Gildo el Tresvisano"): active between 1940 and 1952.
  • Juan Fernández Ayala ("Juanín"): active between 1943 and 1957.
  • Quintiliano Guerrero Fernández ("El Tuerto"): active between 1946 and 1953.
  • José Marcos Campillo ("El Tranquilo"): active between 1939 and 1955.
  • Ceferino Roiz Sánchez ("Machado"): head of the unit between 1939 and 1945.
  • Mauro Roiz Sánchez: active between 1939 and 1941.
  • Santiago Rey Roiz: head of the unit between 1945 and 1955.

See also


  • Fernando Obregón Goyarrola, Republic, Civil War and Postwar in the Valleys of Liébana and Peñarrubia (1931-1957) . Ed. Fernando Obregón Goyarrola. Maliaño, 2007 (pp. 334-398 and 501-509).