Saturday, November 26

The search begins for the remains of Josep Suñol, the former president of Barça shot by the Francoists

Josep Suñol i Garriga, president of Barça between the summer of 1935 and 1936, was executed by Franco’s troops on the Sierra de Guadarrama front. An ERC militant, he had gone to visit the republican soldiers when he was captured along with his companions and murdered without trial. His remains have remained unaccounted for until today. But this could change.

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This Monday the preliminary work that should lead to the exhumation of the body began, according to Catalunya Ràdio and has been confirmed by from sources of the company that carries it out, Condor Georadar. Through sensors on the ground, the technicians are looking for whether there could be a common grave with the body of Suñol in a military residence for the elderly in the town of Guadarrama, in the Community of Madrid.

The project to recover the remains of Suñol, led by the president of Barça Joan Laporta, hit an unexpected stumbling block a little over a week ago, when they already had permits from the Community of Madrid in compliance with the Historical Memory Law . When they were about to start, the Ministry of Defense, owner of the residence, denied them access, alleging that they were not relatives who were claiming it.

Finally, Defense rectified. Among other reasons, the promoters recalled that the son of the former president of Barça, also named Josep Suñol, had left a letter before he died expressing this will and with a DNA sample to make it possible.

The work prior to the exhumation consists, according to company sources, of combing the area using sensors to detect “signs that the ground has been altered.” It is a first phase. If after it these alterations are detected, then the exhumation is given.

Josep Suñol was assassinated on August 6, 1936, at the age of 38, together with the journalist Josep Ventura Virgili, his driver and a republican soldier. The then president of Barça had traveled to the front to visit the Republican troops, but he accidentally crossed the front line and ended up in the hands of the rebels.

During his life, Suñol was a deputy for the ERC and founded the republican weekly La Rambla, which was closed down by the Spanish government on two occasions. He came into contact with Barça as a result of the protests against the Primo de Rivera dictatorship at the then Les Corts football ground. And in July 1935 he was appointed president.