The new phase of excavations and exhumations that an interdisciplinary team led by the University of Granada (UGR) carried out on the ground from April to this past Wednesday in the Víznar ravine, in the Granada metropolitan area, has allowed the recovery of the remains of 49 victims of Franco’s repression, of which 20 have been identified as women.
Víznar-Alfacar: the ravine where everyone was Lorca
This has been detailed to Europa Press by the professor of the Department of Prehistory and Archeology of the University of Granada Francisco Carrión Méndez, who directs these works that have now begun the laboratory analysis phase in a mill facility in the same municipality of Víznar provided by the City Council.
According to the historical research carried out and documented, graves from the Civil War and the post-war period have yet to be exhumed in 13 municipalities in the province of Granada. Among them are the graves of the Víznar ravine that can house more than 300 victims.
As for the results in Víznar, the appearance of remains of women’s bodies stands out, on the one hand in a pit of twelve, and in another of six, to which two more are added in another of the areas where scientists have worked. of the UGR, who have pointed out that they are “confirming” what some of the historical sources indicated, and who suggest on the other hand that “more will have to appear”.
Carrión Méndez has also affirmed that, for the end of November, a meeting of all the members of the team is being prepared to plan the next campaign, with new excavations and exhumations in 2023, foreseeably in this same area of the Víznar ravine, and in Padul. They will also intervene in the area of Caracolar, in the neighboring municipality of Alfacar, an action for which aid has been requested from the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces.
On the trail of Dioscoro Galindo… and Lorca
Within the framework of this same project, and with no start date yet, after three failed attempts, the remains of the teacher Dioscoro Galindo will be sought, in accordance with the request of his adoptive granddaughter, Nieves García Catalán. The fact that he was one of the companions of Federico García Lorca, whose murder has just been 86 years old, adds relevance to this search, although for the investigators, who will work for it in parallel in the Víznar ravine and the Caracolar, all the victims are just as important.
“It is indisputable that the Lorca issue is there” but “we have registered at least 300 people”, who are known to be “disappeared”, and whose remains may be in these places, according to what has been studied, as detailed by Carrión Méndez , by historians such as Rafael Gil Bracero or the Granada Association for the Recovery of Historical Memorywhich collaborates with the UGR in this project.
In this sense, it is about “exhuming” the maximum number of victims, starting from the base that at this time “it is not possible to know for sure” where Federico’s remains are most likely to be. In general terms, it is expected that at least six or seven graves will be excavated in the Caracolar, plus those that remain pending in the ravine, some of which have yet to be detected.
Personal items and remains of clothing
As for the work that is now being analyzed in the laboratory, at the beginning of July, when the remains of 39 victims of Francoism had already been exhumed, some personal objects and remains of clothing had also been recovered. There is a pocket watch, medicine bottles, as well as buttons and similar red shoe soles, so the hypothesis that some could be workers from the El Fargue gunpowder and explosives factory is considered.
It has been excavated in the three enclaves that make up the most important nucleus of graves in the ravine, where there are some 200 documented victims. The field work has been carried out in parallel with the forensic anthropological study in the Víznar laboratory and samples have been taken for the identification of DNA and to compare it with the nearly 70 families who claim the location of their loved ones in this place.
Along with this, 3D reconstruction techniques are used with the cranioencephalic remains with the aim of being able to identify the victims using photographs provided by relatives as a basis. Carrión Méndez then showed his satisfaction that finally intervention is being carried out in this place, one of the most emblematic in the historical memory of the province of Granada, and although “we have arrived late, the light is beginning to be seen” and to honor the victims.
With these works in Víznar, scheduled until the end of September, this year’s project, which has had an approximate budget of 150,000 euros, will be considered completed, which has involved a “real investment” of about 135,000 euros, including eight research contracts. for six months.
They are funds from Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memorywhich are distributed among the Andalusian universities for memorial projects through the Andalusian Government. Regarding the project agreed with the UGR for this year, the budget has been practically the same as the one developed last year.