Wednesday, March 22

The Huesca town of Angüés pays tribute to 26 of its neighbors shot during the Civil War

After the July 1936 coup d’état, crews from various Civil Guard posts under the command of Lieutenant Manuel Lahoz Julve gathered in the Huesca town of Angüés, located 24 kilometers from the Huesca capital, and retreated to Huesca before the pressure exerted by the organized militias in Barbastro.

Some 80 right-wing residents of Angüés marched in this column and another 23 with anarchist ideals, who were arrested by the Civil Guard and used as human shields. On July 24 of that same year, they entered the Provincial Prison of Huesca, where they arrived during that week in which Angüés was in the hands of the rebels, 31 neighbors, all of whom would be assassinated in Huesca in the following months. Most of them were young, single and day laborers, among whom was the then mayor of Angües, José Villacampa Bravo. This is how they report it from the Association for the Recovery and Research Against Oblivion (ARICO).

Between January 3 and 19, 1937, seven groups of Angüesian prisoners were selected in the Provincial Prison of Huesca to be assassinated hours later. In just four days, from January 3 to 6, 17 of them were killed and another nine would fall under the bullets of the fascist execution pickets between January 14 and 19. Their bodies were buried in different common graves in the Las Mártires de Huesca cemetery. The names of these victims of fascist repression are: Emeterio Alpín Zaballos, Fabián Alsina Soliva, Román Arnal Mur, José María Batos Lacasta, Ramón Bonet Buil, Agustín Bravo Brusau, Ramón Briac Oliveros, Mariano and Santos Buil Tornil, Tomás Canudo Domper, Emilio and Miguel Cardiel Huguet, Bartolomé Casasín Pérez, Gregorio Espona Vitales, José Franco Carpi, Dionisio and Manuel Gallo Brusau, Demetrio and José Hugüet Ubico, Juan José Lomero Bravo, Domingo Ponz Conte, Domingo Tomás and Joaquín Rivera Sarvisé, Luis Val Buil, José Villacampa Bravo and Francisco Zamora Campo.

In the 1930s Angüés was a town with little more than 800 inhabitants, with an economy based on agriculture and to a lesser extent on livestock, and which had a powerful base of young anarchists organized in the local union of the CNT.


At the beginning of 2018, ARICO received a first request from the well-known anarchist militant Martín Arnal Mur, a native of Angüés, to locate and recover the skeletal remains of his brother Román, assassinated on January 4, 1937 by the rebels. By the action of Martín himself, his family and members of the Huesca National Labor Confederation, This request was quickly joined by many other relatives of the Angüesians murdered by fascism.

Martín Arnal Mur, recently deceased at the age of 99, together with the Association for the Recovery and Research against Oblivion (ARICO) and the Manolín Abad de Huesca Republican Circle (CRMAHU), promoted three archaeological exhumation campaigns in the Las Mártires cemetery of Huesca in 2018 and 2019. Subsequently, the necessary anthropological and genetic studies have been carried out, as well as all the preparations for a decent burial.

In October 2018, a first archaeological exhumation campaign was carried out, financed by the Provincial Council of Huesca, the result of which was the discovery of a mass grave with five victims, all of them men, who presented obvious signs of violent death by firearm. . Months later, Román Arnal Mur could be genetically identified among them and the news was communicated to his brother Martín Arnal Mur.

The second phase took place in July 2019 and the third in October of the same year, both thanks to the help of the Huesca Provincial Council. In them, a total of six more mass graves were exhumed in the Las Mártires de Huesca cemetery, containing another 21 bodies of men, again with obvious signs of violent death by firearm. In total, between 2018 and 2019, 26 victims of fascist repression were exhumed from Angües.

The technical work, coordinated by Miguel Ángel Capapé Garro, on behalf of the ARICO association, has been carried out by the archaeologists Fco. Javier Ruiz Ruiz and José Ignacio Piedrafita Soler, the historian Cristina Sánchez Martínez, the anthropologist Miriam Gracia Martínez and the rest of the team, who in the last decade have excavated 35 mass graves from the Civil War and the post-war period in Aragon, exhuming 140 victims of Franco’s repression, guerrillas or combat soldiers.

The Provincial Council of Huesca paid for these exhumations and the genetic analyzes through aid for the development of the Historical Memory, the Huesca City Council has taken charge of the construction of the tomb and, finally, subsidies were obtained from the Ministry of the Presidency and the Government of Aragon to cover the cost of burial and public tribute.

“After all these years of struggle, the time has come to pay a public tribute to these 26 residents of Angüés murdered by fascism for their anarcho-syndicalist ideals, which will be held tomorrow, February 6, at 11:00 a.m. in the esplanade of the cemetery of Las Mártires de Huesca”, stated ARICO in a press release. Later the bodies will receive a decent burial in the tomb built for that purpose.