Exhumations in the Alicante Municipal Cemetery have found the first remains of victims of Franco’s repression.

Regional Minister Rosa Pérez Garijo, who is financing the work, has described the results as “very positive” stating that “ if we continue to exhume the graves we will be able to recover the remains of many more victims for the relatives of those who were murdered while defending our rights and freedoms”.

The mayor of Aspe, Antonio Puerto, who is also promoting the work, has said that the location of the bodies ” opens hope that these remains may correspond to those shot in 1941, many of them from the town of Aspe”.

In grave 36 work took place during the months of October and November with the aim of recovering the remains of 22 people who were murdered between June 26 and July 17 from 1941, mostly from Aspense and nearby towns. Many of the remains show signs of violence with one victim having a bullet hole in the skull.

The laboratory study has confirmed that the minimum number of individuals in this grave amounts to 25.

In another grave 20, close by, seven bodies have been found of the 14 thought to be buried. Of those recovered, four show signs of violence, three of them have bullet holes in the skull and another in the sternum. This grave is thought to house the remains of the 14 people who were murdered between June 26 and August 9, 1941, from Aspe, Callosa de Segura, Ibi, La Unión and Madrid.

Currently there are approximately 400 people from different Alicante towns who have never been traced following their disappearance as victims of Franco’s repression, through numerous executions following a summary trial.