Spanish archaeologists discovered and went ahead with the exhumation of more human remains from mass graves dating from the era of the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) and the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Certain skeletons were still wearing rotten leather boots on their feet.

These exhumations were carried out in a cemetery at Valladolid in central Spain, while increased efforts are being made by volunteers and organizations of the victims to throw light on the country’s bloodstained past and give answers to families still searching for their relatives today.

So far, since April 2016, four mass graves have been located and exhumed in Valladolid. A total of 228 corpses were found. These are believed to be some of the 2.000 mass graves existing all over Spain and dating from the civil war.

Historians estimate that up to 500,000 fighters and civilians were killed on both sides. After the end of the war, tens of thousands of the regime’s opponents were executed or imprisoned.

“I hope that the forensic examination will show us who these people were”, said Julio del Olmo, who participated in the excavations. The exhumation was partially financed by the Valladolid local authorities.

Another smaller excavation took place in the village of Huesca near Zaragoza, in northern Spain, following the request of a man seeking an uncle of his. Two human remains were found there.

August 30 has been declared International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.