The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) began yesterday the exhumation of the first mass grave of victims of the dictatorship in Casasola de Rueda. During the work a new pit from which bones of a leg and hand were removed when the bulldozer was a new movement of land next to the first pit he was found. The work is led by archaeologist Rene Pacheco, historian Alex Rodriguez and Vice President of ARMH, Marco Gonzalez.
The first grave was located on 2 July, after several days of work by volunteers of the ARMH and thanks to the testimonies of the people of the neighboring towns, which conclude that there are several points burial where expects to locate the remains of at least one group of more than 25 people from the mining of Sabero, which were transferred in November 1937 from the prison of Cistierna.
In Villafranca del Bierzo begin the exhumation of two retaliating in 1948.
The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory has started today in the cemetery of Villafranca del Bierzo (León) the exhumation of two bodies, belonging to a woman and her son, allegedly killed on 28 October 1948 for giving shelter to a anti-Franco guerrilla group.
The exhumation of Vicenta Lopez and Jesus Camuñas, to be held today and tomorrow, have come daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Vicenta, who currently live in Barcelona, as explained in a statement the association.
Behind a green wooden door, with the name of the last inhabitant of the house, Manuela Fernández Macías, written on the lintel for the postman will leave the cards, the winery appears. To the left an old cobwebbed, gossip magazines fifteen years scattered on the ground, a Roman balance with stone wall and gnawed on a mantel clock, stopped at three and a half ago sideboard in sight. In the background, in the darkest of stay and the wettest corner, it is the tomb of Claudius.
Sentenced to ten years in prison for participating in the revolution of 1934, amnestied by the Popular Front and fought in the Republican Army during the first year of the Civil War, Claudio Macías Fernandez had returned to his home Villalibre Jurisdiction (Priaranza) in the fall of 1937, like hundreds of other militants bercianos, when the front of Asturias collapsed and Franco’s troops entered Oviedo and Gijón. Single and little more than thirty years, Claudio possibly died of pneumonia, while hiding in his house reprisals had already cost the life of his brother Arsenio, 16, killed by not give him away and buried in the curve of the N-536 in Villalibre, five hundred meters from the village.
Claudio felt die and prepared his funeral. He asked his mother and his sisters that envelop your body in blankets, being placed into a wooden chest, and quietly buried in the same cellar of the house to spare the revenge of those who sought him.
The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) today began the exhumation of the bodies of Claudio and Arsenio Macías Fernández brothers, 31 and 16 years, respectively, victims of Franco’s repression and whose remains are in Villalibre of Jurisdiction (León). Specifically, the work began on the recovery of the remains of the oldest of the brothers, who are in a wooden urn in which he asked to be buried at his death, situated in the cellar of their home in this berciana town.
The director of the excavation works Rene Pacheco, he explained that the work of the association in the first moments has been to expose the body to know its exact location, and clarified that it was the own Claudio Macías who escavó in the hole get inside. “Even the walls are in peak marks used for this, which is located about 80 feet deep, and the body is looking up,” he said.
After knowing the history and the will of the family to recover the body, the members of the association attended the house in which even some relatives were unaware of the whereabouts of Claudio Macias. “In this area they said they did not set foot because they could fall and ended up covering,” said Pacheco, who recounted how a wooden covered the area where, once removed, leaving a glimpse of a “wobbly” ground under which the pit was.
From now on we will have to do a job “very slow” in which part of the wall to display “a kind of bath in which is the body” will be removed, then we will proceed to do a job “of brushes and spatulas wood to leave the body exposed. ” Finally it will be time to document and draw to start the extraction of the remains. Similarly, the association has a laboratory in Ponferrada, where the remains where, next November, a coroner arrived from Portugal examine the remains to determine what this time is already known will move: this is the remains of Claudio Macias, who will be transferred to Columbrianos with the rest of the family.
One of the nieces, Marisele Fernández Macías, related how his uncle “nailed a dagger in each shoulder in life, he undid life with a machete and then shot, that was when my grandmother realized that he had killed, “he said. The memory generates a feeling of “not live” and causes sleepless nights “thinking how badly spent my grandmother, my mother and my aunt.”
A court in San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Madrid) first recognized “the right to a dignified burial” of two victims of the Franco regime and declared that “comes the realization of the relevant proceedings” so that his remains be exhumed from the cemetery the Valley of the Fallen, where they were transferred in 1959 from Calatayud and delivered to the family that claim after DNA analysis.
The order of the Court of First Instance No. 2 of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, already strong, is that for the first time the right “to decent burial” of a victim of the Franco regime be recognized and to proceed to an exhumation in the main monument raised by Francisco Franco, opened on April 1, 1959 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
To achieve this milestone, granddaughter and grandniece of the victims, Maria Purification Lapeña, and his lawyer, Eduardo Ranz, they exhausted the criminal proceedings, until arriving to Strasbourg, but found the wall that is the inability to prosecute the culprit crime. Rather than let it go, the November 20, 2014 attended the civil courts, in particular, the procedure “for approval and notarization of information perpetuam ad memoriam”. They were lucky, because demand has continued, although the reform of Voluntary Jurisdiction Act 1881 was amended in July last year and annulled the articles contemplated “information notarization of perpetual memory.” So Ranz is pessimistic about the way that this lawyer 31 years has used can be used by the relatives of other victims of Francoism.
However, legal sources believe that the reform made in the Voluntary Jurisdiction does not necessarily lead to closure of this route, because, although the procedure ad perpetuam memoriam was abolished, Article 1 of the Standard was open to any legal claim without the tagline of “contained in this law,” which could apply to similar claims.
The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Ponferrada moved to the cemetery Castroncelos in A Pobra do Brollon, to find the remains of the brothers Jose Maria and Ricardo Garcia Moral, two neighbors of Montefurado farmers who, according to data provided by the collective, were arrested by a group of Falangists in September 1936 and murdered.
To reconstruct the case, the association is upheld in the data of an investigation that began Monforte court in those years, after the father of two young officially denounce the case, which is unusual at the time.
That investigation concluded that the two brothers might be buried four meters from the wall of the church Castroncelos, outside the cemetery and the association began tracking that point, but failed to locate the remains.
Since the group explained that in the 60s the old temple was demolished and built one in the same area but with other measures and other guidance. Probably, and in the absence of further work to confirm this term, the bodies of the two brothers could have been under the new temple. Now, the group and their descendants seek documentation and plans of the old temple to be more specific burial area.
José María and Ricardo Garcia were two farmers who were part of the union UGT and one of them did work for Renfe. After being arrested by the Phalangists and stuck in a train to Monforte de Lemos, the convoy did not reach the city of Cabe and stood in A Pobra station. In that area they would have been forced to get off the train and killed. In addition, a neighbor had to move the bodies in a carriage to the chapel Castroncelos.
The information contained in the court explained that were autopsied and who were buried near the temple of Castroncelos. The association completed the investigation and was the family that requested the search for the remains of the two brothers.
The victims are not victims of the Franco regime, it is the message conveyed by the institutions. The other doors closed, the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) chooses to subsidies for associations of victims of terrorism and the administration replies that “do not represent any victim of terrorism.” undertakers put the pan in the excavations in municipal cemeteries and send bills to the families of killed. Exhumations municipalities interpret as “archaeological work” and ask thousands of euros to descendants. The State or is, or is expected in the recovery of victims of the Civil War and Franco’s repression.
Summer is high season for finding grandparents, uncles or grandparents disappeared for 70 years due to the voluntary nature of this work, where coroners, archaeologists or activists bring their work during the holidays. Everything else -excavadoras, gasoline, identification- tests is paid with small contributions from partners or via crowdfunding, as that will take place on July 21 at Mount Estépar (Burgos).