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200 Spanish Civil War mass graves unearthed

A team of forensic experts, anthropologists and archaeologists have unearthed 200 Spanish Civil War mass graves in Spain and have exhumed the bodies of 4,800 people.

“As long as the families want us to, we will search for them,” said Etxeberria at a conference held during the Apr. 23-30 8th San Sebastián Human Rights Film Festival, where ”Los caminos de la memoria” (The Paths of Memory) — a documentary that explores the historical amnesia regarding the fate of those who lost the 1936-1939 Spanish civil war — was screened.

”The three rights of victims are truth, justice and reparations, and these have not been forthcoming” in the case of the roughly 200,000 victims of murder and forced disappearance during the war and the 1939-1975 dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, Etxeberria said.

”I don’t think we’ll find them all, it’s impossible,” he added.

With the passage of the ”law on historical memory” in 2000 and a lawsuit filed by a son who had lost his father, Etxeberria began to excavate in Priaranza del Bierzo in the northern province of León. The bodies of 13 civilians shot by firing squad at the start of the war were unearthed. It was the first scientific excavation of mass graves carried out in Spain, nearly 70 years after the war began.

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3 thoughts on “200 Spanish Civil War mass graves unearthed

  1. How scary that the judge has been accused by right-wing groups of overreaching his judicial powers by ordering the investigation of the mass graves. That suggests to the modern reader that at least some part of the Spanish population never changed their views one iota about Franco’s murderous dictatorship.

    I went to visit Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) and felt very ambivalent about going inside this strongly symbolic pro-Franco site. Franco’s own grave is on the ground without a fence around it, so people were jumping on the grave and spitting, as you might expect. But the children and grandchildren of the murdered Republicans might not want to go in there at all.

  2. Doesn’t sound like you actually saw Valle de los Caidos as Franco’s grave is not outside, it’s inside the basilica. And it was built as a monument to restore unity to Spain. Nothing specifically pro-Franco about it. Of course the left hates it as the left lives from division and radicalization. The idiot judge Garzon, now thankfully relieved of his duties, took it upon himself to override the post-war amnesty, but was very selective in his investigations. Rather than try the dead, for example, why not try Santiago Carrillo, who’s still alive and guilty of mass murder?

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