Work is progressing to identify the 49 bodies found in Víznar

The Government Deputy Delegate, Inmaculada López Calahorro, visited the Víznar Laboratory where the human remains found in the Víznar ravine are examined, documented and cataloged by the team led by Francisco Carrión and Rafael Gil, professors of the UGR and their team of seven people, drawn from various research fields such as archaeology, physical and forensic anthropology, sociology and documentation, as well as students from the Master’s degree in physical and forensic archeology and anthropology.

As the Government Deputy Delegate explained in the context of the project Barranco de Víznar, place of memory, developed by the University of Granada and funded by the Spanish Government, through the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory. The Secretary of State has granted aid of 28,000 euros to the University of Granada to work in Sector 2 and another of 18,000 euros, through the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, to the City Council of Viznar.

It seeks to rediscover the historical context derived from the Francoist repression that the province experienced on the eve of the civil war. It should be noted that the University of Granada has been a pioneer in this type of work since 2010.

Inmaculada López Calahorro stressed that “public institutions must support and engage in the struggle to which so many have dedicated their lives to save the lives of thousands of other people who have ended up in oblivion after defending freedom and democracy”. Work is underway in two sectors where, according to estimates by the Historical Memory Association of Granada, up to 400 people could be buried.

Pit number 1, known as the Barranco de Víznar pit, is an old water collection pit in the nearby Sierra de la Alfaguara, with a diameter of over 20 meters and an estimated depth of over eight meters. In 1936 this well had dried up due to the drought of those years and was used as a clandestine grave. This well served as an illegal burial site for between 100 and 150 Grenadians executed by rebel troops stationed in the barracks in the town of Víznar. In addition to the murdered civilian population, it is quite possible that among them is the former rector of the University of Granada, Salvador Vila Hernández, professor of Semitic philology and friend of Miguel de Unamuno. He was shot on October 22, 1936.

In addition, to contribute to the historical document, a forensic anthropological study will be carried out on each of the 49 victims found in the graves of the Barranco de Víznar, and their possible genetic identification with the requesting relatives.

Among the specific objectives that are developed in the laboratory, it should be emphasized that once the systematic archaeological excavation of the tomb in the sector has been carried out, the individual exhumation is carried out using forensic archaeological techniques and the protection and conservation remains for transport to the laboratory.

The sub-delegate was able to learn first-hand the process of identifying both the study subject’s date of death and the associated pathologies and violent, ante, peri and postmortem trauma associated with the study subjects. . He was also able to observe how the cleaning, study and inventory of the material associated with each individual was carried out. He spoke with members of the work team who explained to him the methods and steps taken with each of the 49 people exhumed.

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