Monday, September 15, 2008

Uncovering Lorca

One consequence of the census of Franco's victims set in motion by Baltasar Garzón could be the exhumation of the remains of the poet Federico García Lorca. The burial place of Lorca, who was executed at the beginning of the Civil War, has been known for some time. It lies between the municipalities of Viznar and Alfacar near to Granada. Despite this, the grave was never opened because members of Lorca's family did not want this to happen. The problem they have now is that Lorca does not have the grave to himself, he was killed as part of a group and relatives of at least one of those buried alongside him are now seeking permission to open the site.

Meanwhile it is becoming clear that a final count of those who were victims of summary executions by Franco's supporters will go way beyond the the estimates of 20-30,000 often given for those who still lie in unmarked graves around Spain. According to a report from El Pais the number of victims identified by different “historical memory” associations could be as high as 130,000. It remains to be seen whether the information provided by other bodies who have received requests from Garzón will have the effect of raising this figure even higher. No wonder so many on the right are nervous about Garzón's initiative, as the full extent of the killing becomes clearer.

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