“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.