AP NEWS

Spain launches bid to identify victims of civil war, Franco

March 6, 2019
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FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday May 22, 2018, an archeologists inspects a grave with the remains of what is believed to be two republican prisoners killed during the Spanish Civil War, in the small Pyrenees village of Leranoz, around 30 km (21,78 miles) from Pamplona, northern Spain. Spain's Justice Ministry on Wednesday March 5, 2019, invited people to send by email any details they have about officially unrecorded victims of the country's 1936-39 Civil War and the four decades of dictatorship that followed under Gen. Francisco Franco, aiming to create a reliable census and helping to identify the estimated 114,000 victims.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, FILE)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities are inviting people to send by email any details they have about officially unrecorded victims of the country’s 1936-39 Civil War and the four decades of dictatorship that followed under Gen. Francisco Franco.

The Justice Ministry announced Wednesday that the move aims to help create a reliable census of anonymous burials in unmarked ditches across the country.

The socialist government, which faces a general election next month, wants to unearth and identify the estimated 114,000 victims of the civil war and the rule of Franco, who died in 1975.

Three U.N-sponsored missions to Spain since 2013 have criticized authorities for lacking a plan to search for missing people.

A recent expert report said that, realistically, only around a quarter of the estimated victims could be identified and recovered.