Remains of executed Republicans uncovered in Valencia

Forensics teams find first 12 remains in common grave No. 113 in Paterna, Valencia. Photo: Miguel Lorenzo / El Periódico
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• Discovery at ‘grave 113’ in Paterna expected to prompt more excavations
• 2,238 Republican prisoners in Valencia executed by firing squad after Civil War

Forensics teams have uncovered the first 12 remains of what are believed to be Republican prisoners executed by firing squad after Spain’s Civil War ended and whose bodies were dumped in common gravesites at the Paterna cemetary outside Valencia, in what researchers estimate could be the beginning of the discovery of hundreds if not thousands of remains of prisoners executed in Valencia in the first years of the Franco dictatorship.

The discoveries have prompted a judge in Valencia to open proceedings into the executions carried out by the Franco regime in Valencia immediately after Spain’s bloody 1936-39 Civil War ended, which included the deaths by firing squad of an estimated 2,238 Republican prisoners at the so-called Paredón de España.

The infamous execution site is just metres from gravesite number 113 at the Paterna cemetery, a town to the west of Valencia city, where the first 12 remains of an estimated 60 prisoners dumped in a common grave were found by forensics teams last week. The 12 remains are believed to be among those of about 60-70 prisoners who were executed between 18th January 1940 and 19th September 1941 and whose bodies were dumped at the site.

The discoveries came after the Valencian regional government freed up 165,000 euros from the regional budget to fund the excavations at the site, where as many as 350 different gravesites are believed to hold the remains of Republican prisoners pulled from prison cells in Valencia and transported by train to Paterna to face execution by firing squad on the orders of dictator Francisco Franco.

► Read More in Spanish at Valencia Plaza, El Periódico and El País …

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