Spanish Judge Begins Probe of Franco Crimes

Magistrate also orders poet Federico García Lorca's body exhumed
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2008 4:45 PM CDT
Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon has opened an inquiry into crimes against humanity committed under General Franco in Spain.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Spanish judge today ordered the grave of poet and playwright Federico García Lorca dug up, and declared 114,000 political killings in the 1930s and later under former dictator General Francisco Franco crimes against humanity, the Guardian reports. The move—part of the first official inquiry into Franco-era crimes—represents a dramatic snub to Spain’s traditional walking-on-eggshells approach to its former dictatorship.

Lorca’s family has opposed opening his grave – one of 19 the judge ordered dug up – but the families of other victims buried on the same hillside wanted their relatives exhumed. "I'm very pleased. I've been waiting ten years for this," one family member said. The judge also demanded proof that Franco’s main generals were also dead.