Spain’s Valladolid buries remains of 245 victims killed during the Franco regime

THE remains of 247 victims killed during the Franco regime have finally been put to rest in Spain’s Valladolid, two years after they were recovered.

A special ceremony took place this Sunday (February 16) where the victims were buried at a memorial built in El Carmen Cemetery.

This burial brings closure to efforts that had been made since 2016 with the Association for the Recovery of the Historical Memory of Valladolid (ARMH) inaugurating a commemorative plaque to honor the 2,650 people killed during General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in the province.

“We want this tribute to become an act of democratic recognition and historical justice to all those who defended the Second Republic regardless of which side they were on” explained Julio del Olmo, the president of the ARMH, who was responsible for the exhumation and safekeeping of the remains.

Alongside members of Valladolid Council, the Secretary of State for Memory Democratic, Fernando Martínez, writer Gustavo Martín Garzo and relatives attended the highly emotional service.

The remains had been found in 2016 and were believed to be among more than 2,000 mass burial sites thought to exist across the country from the civil war.

Historians estimate that as many as 500,000 combatants and civilians were killed on the Republican and Nationalist sides in the war where tens of thousands of Franco’s enemies were killed or imprisoned as part of a campaign to wipe out dissent.

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Isha Sesay