The work against the clock to identify the victims of the Francoism shooting also suffers from the ravages of the pandemic

Publication: Sunday March 21, 2021 2:53 PM

The remains of 144 people killed by the Franco regime in the Paterna cemetery are protected in boxes. There, Javier Iglesias, anthropologist director of the Arqueoantro Scientific Association, with his team, reconstructs the skull of each victim to discover the type of shot he received. In other words, as detailed, if it was “by the execution or the coup de grace to finish them”.

Because in tomb 115, which began to be excavated in 2019, most of those killed were shot at close range; a pit, according to Javier, quite complex, because it is “six meters deep”, and also half of the pit had a “vaulted” shape. But it is not only complex in terms of its morphology.

“It is composed of three bags because they were slaughtered in batches of about 50 individuals,” said the anthropologist. His work team, as he treated, was able to recover 144 of the almost 160 expected: “We have seen that most of the bodies are thrown and tied.” Later, in a laboratory at the Autonomous University of Madrid, they search for evidence to help them identify the victims.

For example, determining the biological profile (age, weight or height). the victims. And they do it against the clock. Everything so that “families can take the bodies to cemeteries and be able to bury them with dignity”, underlined Javier Iglesias. Where always, as he added, they should have been.

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