Nearly 200 Franco-era victims found in mass graves

Archaeologist Julio del Olmo examines skull found at mass grave site in Valladolid. Photo: Juan Medina / Reuters via Público
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• Remains of 185 men and women killed by Franco-era forces found in Valladolid
• Forensic team says additional mass graves may contain hundreds more victims

Forensic archaeologists examining three mass-grave sites at the El Carmen cemetery in Valladolid say the sites contain the remains of nearly 200 men and women who were killed and whose bodies were dumped there by anti-Republican forces eight decades ago, during Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War, and afterward during Spain’s 35-year dictatorship under Gen. Francisco Franco.

The team of forensic specialists working at the site under the direction of the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica de Valladolid (Association for the Recovery of Historic Memory of Valladolid) have been using radar pulses to locate the gravesites and say there may be as many as 10 such mass graves containing hundreds more corpses in and around the city’s El Carmen cemetery.

The work on the site is being carried out in accord with Spain’s 2007 Historical Memory Law and is being funded by the Valladolid municipal government, which budgeted 25,000 euros for the project. Valladolid Mayor Óscar Puente says the decision to locate and open the mass graves “is more a question of national dignity and human rights than wanting to open the wounds of the past. We simply couldn’t look the other way.”

► Read More in Spanish at Infobae and Público …

► Read More in English at Reuters and The Daily Mail …

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