Archive image of the Llucmajor pit. | J. Socies

The bodies of four men who were killed during the Franco era and later exhumed from graves in Llucmajor and Marratxí have now been identified, according to the Ministry of Public Administration & Modernization.

All four men were killed in 1936 and DNA analysis has confirmed that the remains of Antoni Castañer Cifre from Pollensa were recovered from Marratxí in September 2018.

Antoni Oliver Jordà, who was also from Pollensa was buried in a mass grave in Llucmajor cemetery along with Macià Salvà Coll from Coll d'en Rabassa, and Miquel Martorell Gelabert, from Bunyola. All three were shot on the old Palma to Portocolom road, between October and December 1936 and buried in Llucmajor cemetery. Their remains were recovered as a result of exhumations carried out in January and February 2019.

The identifications were carried out by the Aranzadi Society within the 2018-2019 Trench Action Plan and the Autonomous Secretariat of Democratic Memory & Good Governance plans to deliver the remains of the men to their families in the coming months.

Antoni Castañer Cifre was a 33-year-old farmer, his body was found on the Palma-Inca road on August 22, 1936. Two others were found in the same place, one has been identified via DNA analysis as Miquel Marquet Perelló, but the identity of the third victim is still unknown. The three men were buried, one on top of the other, in a common grave in Marratxí.

Despite the fact that an autopsy was carried out and all three men had gunshot wounds, it was stated on the Municipal Registry, that their deaths had occurred as a result of an accident.

The description of Antoni Castañer on the autopsy describes him as 38-years-old, 169 centimetres tall and of robust complexion. He had four gunshot wounds, two in the head and two in the thoracic region and a tattoo with his name and a chain.

Macià Salvà Coll was a 32-year-old bricklayer. His body was found on October 28, 1936 and he was identified by his wife. He also had a young daughter. According to the family, he was buried in the municipal cemetery of Llucmajor just before the coup d'etat, along with Sebastià Vidal, who had denounced a priest for alleged child abuse. During their exhumations, two buttons were found along with a metal buckle and a cloth bag with nine coins inside, which were not legal currency at the time.

The body of Antoni Oliver Jordà was found on December 19, 1936 and at first the authorities were unable to confirm his identity. A tattoo on his right arm was eventually confirmed as the name of his ex-wife, but she was unable to identify Antoni or his clothing because he had been buried for such a long time and his clothes were rotten.

He was buried in the Llucmajor cemetery and according to the autopsy he was between 35 and 40 years old. A wooden button and plastic and metal hooks which its thought were used to hold socks were recovered during his exhumation.

Miquel Martorell Gelabert was born in Orient, Bunyola, on July 3, 1901 and assassinated on December 3rd, 1936. According to the Historian, Bàrbara Suau, his body was found a pool of blood in the gutter on the road between Palma and Portocolom, he had multiple gunshot wounds and his hands were tied behind his back. A week after his unidentified body was buried in Llucmajor cemetery, his wife recognised his clothes and belongings. They had a two year old son and according to the family, Miquel felt persecuted and had gone into hiding in Alaró several times.