«I always imagined that one day I would get my brother back, but not that it would take so long»
The exhumation of the remains of the anti-Francoist militant Cipriano Martos Jiménez (Huétor Tájar, Granada, 1942), who died in Reus in 1973 and was buried in the city's general cemetery, will take place before the end of the year. This is how they specify the Daily sources from the Department of Justice consulted, who reaffirm the commitment launched a few months ago in this regard.
For their part, sources from Funeral Services Reus and Baix Camp point out that "in recent days there have been contacts with the General Directorate of Democratic Memory, which will carry out the recovery process", and that "the municipal company has offered all collaboration" without an exact date to start the work has yet been confirmed.
Cipriano Martos was about 31 years old when he died after having ingested acid in the Civil Guard barracks in Reus, where he was interrogated and tortured after being arrested for distributing propaganda against the regime in Igualada. The agony due to the ingestion of corrosive liquid lasted more than 20 days at the Sant Joan Hospital. His relatives could not accompany him at any time, nor say goodbye to him, and he ended up being buried by the Francoist authorities in a charitable grave in the Reus cemetery. Since then, those closest to him have not stopped fighting to bring him back home. Almost half a century after the crime, that desire seems closer.
"Since everything about my brother happened, I imagined that one day this would start, but it has taken much longer than I thought," Antonio Martos, Cipriano's brother, explains to this newspaper, who trusts that the exhumation "will be is going to do, because there is a lot of movement in pits in the area ». "We don't know what to expect, but we think it won't be long," he says.
Antonio regrets that, at this time, "most of the strongest leaders of the Spanish nation have been building a wall and we have run into it." "They have done it with the whole idea that they are not responsible for that time so that no one pays," he points out, and expresses that "now that there is no one to blame, then they let progress."
"We could not see anything, we could not verify anything and, more than anything else, we want to know if it is really true that Cipriano is in the Reus cemetery," says the brother, who says that "for this reason, we ask that the remains be removed , because the DNA will let us know exactly." Coinciding with the facts, “all kinds of hoaxes were circulated and one was that the Civil Guard had burned the body and thrown it into the Ebre river, but the Reus City Council sent us a letter indicating which grave and how deep it is; and so I think we will find him there.'
"I took many steps, but then nobody opened the doors to me with hope because everything was clandestine and the only thing I can prove is that I am the brother of Cipriano Martos and that the Civil Guard killed him," he recalls. Now, "thanks to the will of the people, I see possibilities," he says.
Return to Grenada
Antonio is weighed "by the pain that my parents were left with, which was a lot, for not being able to have Cipriano in the cemetery where our relatives are, and we would like to take Huétor Tájar with them, to his own grave." Achieving it "would be like a donation to me for how hard they worked to help the six brothers that we were," he explains, and, "at least, although they will no longer know it, to have the satisfaction of having achieved what what they wanted: to recover even if it is the bones».
In all this time, he notes, “hardly anyone has apologized to me, neither to me nor to so many victims that there were in Spain during the 40 years of Francoism; they have not wanted to show their faces" and "although the damage that was done is beginning to be dealt with, it is with very little responsibility from the high command."
The body of Cipriano Martos is located, according to information from the Reus City Council, in foundry 11, column 67 north of the general cemetery. The Generalitat, which considers the exhumation viable, has awarded the Association of Technicians in Cultural and Social Research (ATICS) the tasks of locating, recovering and anthropological and genetic analysis of the remains that are replaced there. The performance should be more or less imminent. The General Directorate of Democratic Memory requests death records from the Civil Registry and burial records from the cemetery to the consistory.
The City Council of Reus opened precisely yesterday, by decree of the Mayor's Office, a process of information to the relatives of other people who are buried next to Martos. In the radius of action there would be 174 men and women, who died between 1971 and 1976. Name, surname and location are provided for them. Their relatives have 20 days to make allegations in defense of their interests. The list of deceased can be consulted in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat de Catalunya (DOGC) dated October 25.
The case of Martos, which initially did not have as much impact as those of other activists, is part of the Argentine lawsuit, which he joined in 2014 at the request of his relatives. The spokeswoman for the Xarxa Catalana i Balear de Suport a la Complaint Argentina, María José Bernete, indicates that the exhumation "is budgeted and there is a technical report that says it is viable", so "the only thing left is to start working, there is no impediment to set a date and offer the family this small reparation that is sure to be enormous for them».
"What we want," says Bernete, "is that each complainant has reparation." And in the context of Martos, "the end would be to put those who took his life on the bench, but also that he can return home and his family can rest."
They ask for “speed and urgency”
Another member of the Xarxa and genetic donor, Marc Antoni Malagarriga Picas, values that "Cipriano's is a human rights issue, a great grievance that lasts." He criticizes that “on the way there was a positive archaeological intervention report prepared by the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory that the Generalitat ignored; another negative and the end, which has been done by competition». And he stresses that "this is a person who must be exhumed like all victims of Forced or Involuntary Disappearance."
"If one makes a rule of three and sees the rate of exhumations, it will take 200 years to do them all," he denounces, and points out that "about 1,500 archaeological interventions are carried out annually in Catalonia and those of this historical period do not reach 1% ». Malagarriga requests information from the families, also about the protocol that is followed with the DNA. And “speed, maximum urgency” because “they are turning us into heritage, in exhibitions and plays, and we are not; we are a pending account that must be settled ».
“The administration wants us to give up, but we will not give in,” he maintains. "Cipriano was not known and his case has come to light because of the mistreatment he received, and the mistreatment continues," he says. And he concludes that "if each victim must have a book, collect signatures, call dozens of demonstrations, parliamentary interventions... that cannot be."