80 years after more than 1,700 summary executions were conducted on the Balearic island of Mallorca, families of the forgotten are finally being allowed to bury their dead. These men and women were taken out in the middle of the night, put up against a churchyard wall and shot in the back head before being dumped in unmarked mass-graves.
In a churchyard in the small rural town of Porreres, those searching for their loved ones queue up to give DNA samples in the hope that one the corpses being painstakingly removed from the ground may belong to their family. All these bodies are of men arrested as political prisoners in the summer of 1936. They were people from the left and union members who had got organised and educated during the Republic.
An association called Mallorca Memory has documented 47 such mass graves on the island. A new law passed by the Balearic Islands this year opened the way to the exhumations, providing funding and guarantees of proper burial for all remains found.
There are 100,000 missing victims of Franco’s fascist repression.