There are at least 47 communal graves in Majorca. | Santi Otero - EFE - EFE


The Partido Popular wants the Balearic graves act to also include priests and nuns who were killed during the Civil War. The act, essentially one for war graves, has been inspired by the desire to identify Republican victims of the Civil War, but the PP believes that it should be extended to all people who disappeared for "ideological, political and religious reasons" during the conflict.

The text of the act's draft being brought to parliament by the government and Podemos speaks in generic terms about the "disappeared", but the PP wants to narrow the term so that exhumation is limited to the three reasons it has referred to.

Juan Manuel Lafuente, the PP's former minister for public administration, says that his party's proposal would in fact transpose the exact terms that appear in the law of historic memory that was passed during the PSOE national administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Part of the background to the PP initiative is a recognition of how things differed between the islands during the war, notably in Minorca. Those killed there were principally Nationalists and/or from the church.

The PP calculates that there were some 200 people who were killed. It notes, though, that whereas mass graves in Majorca are known about, this is not the case in Minorca.

The party has other amendments it wishes to see introduced. One of these relates to the name of the act. It would be the law of the recovery of the disappeared during the Civil War and Franco regime. The PP's suggestions barely modify the actual content of the act except for its preamble. Lafuente says that it needs to be "much more neutral" and not so "ideological". It has to make clear that the law recognises any violent "disappearance" without putting a label to it.

The PP also wants a limit to be placed on any criminal proceedings if offences are found to have been committed. These should conform with stipulations within the Penal Code and the Criminal Prosecution Act and would, therefore, avoid any possible challenges from the state.