Remains of Spain’s first democratic woman mayor found

Maria Dominguez CREDIT: Gobierno de Aragon

THE remains of Maria Dominguez, the first democratic woman mayor of Spain, who was shot in 1936, have been found.

The Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Aragon has reported that tests carried out on human remains exhumed in the cemetery in Fuendejalon, Zaragoza, on January 30, belong to Maria Dominguez, the first democratic woman mayor of Spain.

After the military coup of 1936, Dominguez, a republican and a socialist, took refuge in her hometown, where she was betrayed, imprisoned and finally shot.

She worked for social equality, women’s rights and the education of children and became the first woman to lead a town hall in Spain.

The results are 94 per cent reliable and the regional government’s department of cultural heritage will complement the information with a historical and anthropological analysis of Dominguez.

The discovery was made as part of the actions carried out for Democratic Memory, working with associations to promote exhumation of graves from the Spanish Civil War.

Dominguez was born in Pozuelo de Aragon, Zaragoza, in 1882, became a teacher in Zaragoza and worked in several destinations. From 1916, she wrote for the press and gained prestige as a lecturer, settling in Gallur, Zaragoza, in the 1920s.

After the resignation of  the local council in 1932, the led the committee that took over the government.

On September 7, she was shot in Fuendejalo, Zaragoza. A few days before, her second husband, Arturo Romanos, a socialist and resident of Gallur, had also been assassinated in Tabuenca.

Together with her remains, with a bullet hole in the skull, a comb, four hairpins, two buttons and the remains of some sandals were found.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.