The first phase of the exhumation in Porreres is now finished. | G. Mas

The first phase of the exhumation of the graves in Porreres will conclude this weekend, investigators expecting to have found the remains of almost half the 130 Republicans who were buried there. The exhumation has revealed nine separate pits containing some 60 bodies. The rest are believed to be buried under niches that were subsequently built.

The exhumation work by the Aranzadi association led by Dr. Francisco Etxeberria has found that some of the victims were shot in the very pits where their remains have been found. Casings and nine millimetre bullets have been recovered. Investigators have also found personal belongings, such as mirrors, medicine bottles, even cough drops, which also indicate that they had been taken to Porreres from prisons such as the improvised prison of Can Mir in Palma.

The ministry for transparency and culture will now initiate procedures for the second phase. This will require the dismantling of almost 50 niches and two pantheons. Porreres town hall is giving its total support to the exhumation and waiting for families to facilitate the second phase, for which there will need to be a sizable budget.