Spain launches bid to identify victims of civil war, Franco

MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities are inviting people to send by email any details they have about officially unrecorded victims of the country's 1936-39 Civil War and the four decades of dictatorship that followed under Gen. Francisco Franco.

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The Justice Ministry announced Wednesday that the move aims to help create a reliable census of anonymous burials in unmarked ditches across the country.

The socialist government, which faces a general election next month, wants to unearth and identify the estimated 114,000 victims of the civil war and the rule of Franco, who died in 1975.

Three U.N-sponsored missions to Spain since 2013 have criticized authorities for lacking a plan to search for missing people.

A recent expert report said that, realistically, only around a quarter of the estimated victims could be identified and recovered.

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