The exhumation works in the cemetery of Castellón will allow the recovery of 59 victims of Francoism

  • The Councilor for Democratic Memory, Verónica Ruiz, and the Deputy Tania Baños, visited the Civil Cemetery of Castellón where recovery works are underway

  • The work entered the fifth phase after four previous campaigns during which a total of 155 bodies buried in the cemetery’s mass grave were exhumed.

  • For this campaign, the city council received a total of eight requests from relatives to locate their ancestors

When the third week of work for the recovery and identification of 59 people killed by Francoism in the civil cemetery of Castellón, the councilor for Democratic Memory of the city, Verónica Ruiz, and her counterpart from the Diputación, Tania Baños visited the space to take an interest in it.

During the meeting, Ruiz stressed “the firm will to recover and identify all those who are repressed by the Franco regime” buried in the mass grave in the cemetery of Castellón. “It is essential to solve this democratic anomaly and to bring justice to all these people and their families, and that is why we are collaborating with the Provincial Council and the Ministry to speed up the exhumation of the bodies as much as possible, in an act of democratic reparation for the victims, shot for their ideology in times of repression,” he said.

For her part, the deputy Tania Baños recalled the fact that the Provincial Council of Castelló collaborated with the City Council of Castellón and the Grup por la Recerca de la Memòria Histórica to recover the memory of one of the darkest periods ” of history and count it. so that “it doesn’t happen again”. “When this new Provincial Council began to operate in 2020, we were clear that one of our key actions was going to be preserve and maintain the memory of the victims of the civil war and Franco’s dictatorship, and we did it,” Baños added.

“Democracy against hate speech”

Baños stressed that the objective is “to give a good dose of democracy in the face of the hate speech and fascism that takes place, because in the face of fascism, more democracy”. “Historical memory is a task that we must consolidate, for which institutions and civil servants must be united and united to prevent the enemies of these policies from continuing to bully us into preventing current generations from knowing history as it happened,” he added.

Finally, the MLA said she hopes exhumations end during this legislature and he thanked the Grup per la Recerca de la Memoria Histórica for “the important work they have always done”.

Exhumation and identification

Under the coordination of the Grup de Recerca de la Memòria Històrica de Castelló, the team of archaeologists from Arqueoantro has been working since September 19 on the site, search, exhumation and identification of the bodies of victims of repression. Later, they will also be responsible for transporting the remains found, supervising the genetic analysis, as well as making the respective anthropological reports.

The town hall of Castelló was the first Valencian local government assuming with its own funds the exhumations of the victims of the Franco dictatorship, a process that began in 2018, within the framework of Law 14/2017 on Democratic Memory and Community Coexistence.

Four previous campaigns

In this fifth phase which has just begun, polls expect to complete first linealready partially excavated and exhumed by Arqueoantro in 2018, also complete the excavation and extraction of reduction boxes and continue the exhumations at row five also started by Arqueoantro in 2020.

Then, in the next phase, cover the total of rows eight and 14, with the final excavation and exhumation of 59 bodies. For this campaign, the municipal council received eight family petitions to find your ancestors.

During the four previous campaigns, those of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the Municipal Council of Castelló exhumed a total of 67 bodieswhich are added to the 52 of the 2020 and 2021 campaigns of the Diputación de Castellón and the 36 of the 2020 double campaign of the Generalitat Valenciana.


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