A Mass Grave From The Franco Era Has Been Unearthed In Spain’s Cadiz

Image before the explosion at Girona's Casa de Cultura. Credit: [email protected]

SOME 37 victims have been identified in the cemetery of San Jose located in Cadiz, Spain and all show signs of a violent death.

The Councillor for Democratic Memory of Cadiz City Council, Martin Vila, reported yesterday, Wednesday, the identification of 37 victims, all showing evidence of a violent death in the exhumation work being carried out in the northern mass grave of the cemetery of San Jose in Cadiz.

Martín Vila explains that the victims showed evidence of being executed at gunpoint and the killings most likely took place between 1936 and 1938, under the severe years of Franco’s repression.

The objective of the identification is to “give an answer, comfort and peace to the relatives that continue to look for their ancestors” and Vila thanked the archaeological team for their “efforts”

The task has not been easy, the initial proposal was to recover 141 bodies of victims of the repression from among the 36,000 buried in this same place. 1,046 individuals have been exhumed, of which 37 were found to be victims with evidence of violent deaths by firearms linked to the repression.

The volume of the grave is estimated at some 770 cubic metres, which must be excavated to ensure that as many victims as possible of the repression are identified. In the present campaign, some 567 cubic metres have been excavated.

The research has been based on a rigorous documentary study, without which it would be impossible to identify the murdered victims, as well as taking buccal swab samples from five families (31 people in particular) in order to carry out the comparative DNA analysis for the purpose of identification.

The dig forms part of an ongoing project to try and exhume the remains of as many victims as possible of General Franco’s repressive regime.


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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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