November 25, 2020

They find a grenade between the legs of a man shot by the Franco regime in a grave in the Castelló Cemetery


The skeleton of a person shot by the Francoists and buried in the Castelló Cemetery has appeared with a grenade between his legs this Tuesday, during the exhumation work carried out in this cemetery by a Historical Memory group. At first, the possibility of warning the Civil Guard was considered in case there was a danger of detonation, but later it was observed that it was only the upper fragment of a Lafitte-type hand grenade and there was no danger, he explained to this newspaper the director of the works, Miguel Mezquida.

The excavation of the grave of the Castelló cemetery exhumes the body of the mayor of Llucena, shot by the Franco regime in 1939

The excavation of the grave of the Castelló cemetery exhumes the body of the mayor of Llucena, shot by the Franco regime in 1939

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By placing the device in a vertical position, the possibility was initially considered that it could have been placed voluntarily between the victim’s legs, but once it was verified that it was only a fragment, the experts working on this project They opt for the possibility of it being a combat remnant, since apparently there was a stronghold of the republican army in this area, as detailed in this part of the 1938 Francoist war:

As explained by one of the volunteers from the Castelló Historical Memory group, the historian Juan Miguel Palomar, the discovery occurred in one of the last graves that will be opened in this exhumation work, funded by the Castelló Provincial Council and the City Council. “First individual graves appeared, and later, as the oral testimonies indicated, the graves in which the corpses were disposed with the head of one next to the feet of the next”, as has happened with the remains found around of the pomegranate. The identity of the remains is not known, and it could only be possible through DNA tests that matched those of the families involved in the search for their relatives. “This morning a lady came to ask about her father’s remains,” he says. However, he explains that there is a fairly detailed registry book in the Castellón Cemetery in which the names of the victims are reflected.

This intervention in the Castelló Cemetery has as its objective the exhumation of 42 bodies, of which only five remain. “We will finish at the end of this week or the beginning of the next one”, emphasizes Mezquida.

In the province of Castelló, Franco’s repression was even more savage than in the rest of the territory. “The lands of Castellón experienced a Francoist repression much higher than the average of the Valencian Country”, writes the historian Vicent Grau in the collective book Franco’s repression of the Valencià Country (Tres i Quatre, 2009). The most complete update on the repression in the province of the historian José Luis Porcar, member of the Grup per a la Recerca de la Memòria Històrica de Castelló, in A country in gray and black (UJI, 2020), maintains that 1,227 people were shot in the province (of which 1,157 were from Castelló).

In an exhumation job previous, financed by the Generalitat, made it possible to locate the body of practitioner Casimiro Isidro Beltrán, mayor of Llucena by Republican Left, shot on March 16, 1939 and who was probably the first assassinated buried in the cemetery grave in 1939.

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