PALMA. The exhumation of mass graves at Calvia and Porreres could begin immediately, reports Diario de Mallorca. This follows the authorisation by the judge Baltasar Garzon in an order dated October 29 and could mean digging is to begin immediately according to the president of the Association for Historical Memory Mallorca, Maria Antonia Oliver. In a special rogatory letter Garzon gave local courts at Palma and Manacor the power to commence the exhumations and gave orders for the appropriate warrants to be issued.
According to one member of the association, Marçal Isern, local community judges will be put in charge of the case and will be working to set deadlines and coordinate all the parties involved.
Isern said that before the mass graves can be opened some archaeological tests must be conducted. These will determine exactly where the graves are located and prepare the area for digging. In addition to bones, the exhumations are expected to uncover coins, dentures and fillings, which will help identify the remains of the missing victims of the Franco era.
The association hopes to begin these tests digs before the end of the year, meaning they now have a lot of work to do quickly. In addition it has already conducted DNA testing of the relatives of missing people and now has a databank of DNA from 140 families to aid identification while it carries out the exhumations. The mass grave at Calvia is situated between Palma and Andratx while the site at Porreres lies near Manacor. (JH)