“In the 21st century it seems easier to get to Mars than to locate the remains of Lorca.” This is said by Eduardo Ranz, lawyer for Nieves García Catalán, granddaughter of the teacher Dióscoro Galindo, shot and buried in August 1936 in Alfacar (Granada) together with Federico García Lorca and two banderilleros, and who has submitted to the Constitutional Court his request to search for the remains of the poet and his grandfather. He does so after a court of first instance and the Provincial Court of Granada rejected his demands.
His lawyer on Monday raised his petition to the Constitutional Court, which must decide shortly whether to admit the amparo appeal that appeals to the violation of the right to effective judicial protection of Galindo’s granddaughter. Also to the fact that he was executed in August 1936 but his whereabouts are not recorded, which would breach the duty of criminal investigation. If the court does not admit it to processing – the term can go from two weeks to two months – Ranz will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights or other international bodies.
“It is a request for compliance with international law, and if the Constitutional Court did not admit it, we would go to the Human Rights Court or the United Nations,” he specified. The demand for the location of the remains of Lorca and his companions in the grave would finally be settled in a supranational instance. “It would be so because the execution of Lorca cannot be separated from those of Galindo and the banderilleros killed at the same time. It is foreseeable that the four bodies are in the same place, and until the forensic work is carried out and a doctor decrees the identities of each one, this division will not be possible, “says Ranz.
Nieves García Catalán and his lawyer appeal to the Constitutional Court after a Granada investigating court denied that permission by criminal means in 2019 and the Granada Provincial Court rejected last January the appeal of the teacher’s granddaughter against the sentence of the first sentence .
In his application for protection, Ranz requests that “the evidence be met.” It is based on an interview published in 2019 in which José Antonio Valdivia Gómez, who in 1986 was a Deputy for Works and Services of the Granada Provincial Council and the provincial nursery, spoke of the appearance of an intact femur in some works executed that year in the Federico García Lorca de Alfacar park, a bone that was finally thrown to a neighboring farm.
Ranz asks that a statement be taken from Víctor Fernández, the journalist who conducted the interview, and Ian Gibson, a Hispanicist, Lorca’s biographer and a great expert on the poet. The lawyer also explains that, regardless of the time that has elapsed, the fact that biological remains appeared in the area where Galindo and Lorca might be buried “should be reason enough to carry out a State investigation aimed at locating and identifying the forced disappeared.”
Pulianas, a town near Granada, was the last destination of Dióscoro Galindo, a Valladolid teacher who arrived in the Andalusian province in 1934. In February 1936 he was intervener of the Popular Front at a polling station and in August of that same year he was arrested by Francoist troops. His family would never see him again. He was executed and buried next to Lorca and the anarchist banderilleros Francisco Galadí and Joaquín Arcollas in the early morning of August 17, 1936 in Víznar.
His granddaughter has spent years trying to locate and unearth his remains, an endeavor that has clashed with the García Lorca family, contrary to the search for the poet’s corpse, of which there have been three failed attempts in the last eleven years. “García Lorca’s great-nephews are not part of the procedure, and in qualitative terms it is about giving a dignified burial to the most universal Andalusian”, says his lawyer. “In the 21st century it is easier to get to Mars than to locate the remains of Lorca and other shot and victims of the Spanish Civil War,” underlines Ranz, an expert lawyer in this field who handled the case of the exhumation of the Lapeña brothers from Valley of the Fallen.
In his criminal complaint in December 2019, in addition to requesting the location of his grandfather, Nieves García also claimed that of the remains of the poet and playwright justified in “the necessary search for the truth” about the death of both the teacher and Lorca. The court argued that this search “as legitimate as it was necessary” was not the task of an investigating judge, but of the State and through civil law. The sentence also highlighted that given the time that has elapsed since 1936, the culprit of the deaths will be over a century old, something irrelevant for the lawyer. “We are not asking to judge anyone, an investigation is being requested in accordance with International Law,” he reiterates.
The Provincial Court later denied Nieves García the legitimacy to request the search for Lorca’s remains “with respect to those who are not represented” and who are not “victims, offended or harmed.” The ruling added that his request could go against the interests of Lorca or his descendants.
His lawyer considers that neither of the two previous instances offered well-founded arguments for his refusal to search for the remains of both shot.