for the Spain they believed to be better
An invitation to recover historical memory in Spain
in the Monte de Estépar
According to the information from the CRMH (Coordinadora Provincial por la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica de Burgos) and the cultural association ESPACIO TANGENTE "the Monte de Estépar, located 21 km to the west of the provincial capital of Burgos, is one of the places in the province of Burgos where the worst atrocities and crimes were perpetrated by those that supported the so-called nationalist band, after the failed coup d’état of July 1936 against the legitimate government of the II Republic. Since the end of the month of July to around mid-October, numerous extra-judicial executions were perpetrated. In fact it is estimated that no less than 400 people were extra-judicially killed and secretly buried in the mass graves prepared for that purpose. All of this converted Monte de Estépar into the principal point of extermination in the province of Burgos during the years of the Civil War, even when practically all of the province formed part of the Francoist rearguard. According to historical records, it is known that all of these victims were civilians, in many cases, members of political parties and trade union organizations, supporters of the left-wing coalition of the Frente Popular, and in so many other cases, they were simply employees, labourers, civil-servants, teachers, shopkeepers and other workers who, in one way or another, had sympathized with the Republic. They all shared the common experience of having been illegally arrested during the first days of the conflict and imprisoned in the Central Prison of Burgos. In fact, they were “taken out” of this prison under the false pretext of being freed only to be handed over to Falange units and requetés, who, together with the civil guard, transported them to the Monte de Estépar, where they would finally be murdered with impunity and thrown into common graves. Through oral testimony it is also known that there were “people taken for walks” from nearby localities, who were also put to death at this place. Some of these and other disappearances were the result of the most brutal, repressive, systematic and extended methods in that ‘hot summer’ of 36. Far from having little impact, as might be thought of a province in which there was hardly any resistance and that immediately fell under the control of the supporters of the coup d'etat (with the exception of the most northerly zone), the evidence tells us that the coup resulted in a large number of deaths amongst the people of Burgos. who were disparagingly singled out as ‘reds’. The consequence of it all was that the mass graves extended across the topography of Burgos, Monte de Estépar being the most dismal place in that sense because of the large number of victims that were buried there."
These photos were taken in the Monte de Estépar in March 2017.