LORCA’S GRAVE – FIRST BONES FOUND
By Michael Coy / 2009-11-22 13:20:45
The Andalucian Justice Department is preparing a report on the grim findings as digging continues in the olive grove at Alfacar.
After two weeks of excavating the site of the poet’s murder, the Justice Department and the ARMH (the Association for the Recovery of Our History) have found human remains. Digging continues at the mountain site, just outside Viznar, north of Granada. Organic material believed to be human bones has been recovered from the site. The remains have been taken to the University of Granada for examination.
Federico Garcia Lorca was without doubt Spain’s greatest writer of the 20th century. He was only 38 years old when he was abducted at the start of the Spanish Civil War and “executed” by a Fascist firing squad in the lonely hills above his native Granada.
His only offence was to have been broadly liberal in his politics, and a well-known gay man.
For nearly 70 years after his death, the precise whereabouts of his remains have been unknown. Other people were shot by the Fascists on the same spot, and it is thought that the bodies were simply dumped in a common grave. Throughout the Franco years, any kind of inquiry into Lorca’s fate was strenuously discouraged, with Guardia Civil patrols combing the area around Viznar, looking for “snoopers”.
It was in the 1980’s that interest in Lorca was revived by the Irish writer, Doctor Ian Gibson, who traced some of the men who had served in Granada’s Fascist units and who took Gibson to the general locale where the killings had taken place.
Recently, in the more relaxed political climate of modern Spain, the ARMH has undertaken valuable work in locating and excavating mass graves of Civil War victims, most notably in Malaga city. The present project, the search for Lorca’s remains, is by far the most high-profile dig associated with the Civil War.
So far, government departments are refusing to speculate on the fresh finds. Many people lost their lives in these killing fields in the bloody years of 1936 and 1937, and the families of victims other than Lorca are anxiously awaiting the outcome of DNA tests.
If Lorca’s bones are positively identified, there will be a re-burial of the poet in Granada. Given his unparalleled fame throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and the tragic manner of his death, the event rate as news of global importance.