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Archaeologists confirm human skulls found in well were Civil War victims 


Investigators in Gran Canaria have found the skeletal remains of at least 12 people in a well and say there is no room for doubt: they do correpond to people excuted during the Spanish Civil War.

The finds included skulls with bullet impacts and other personal objects, all discovered in the Tenoya Well.

President of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, reported the findings together with the Minister of Culture and Historical Heritage, Carlos Ruiz, the Mayor of Arucas, Juan Jesus Facundo, and Pino Sosa, representative of the Asso-ciation of Historical Memory of Arucas.

Sr. Sosa, who is still searching for the remains of his father, said: “The wells were to give life, not to house corpses.”

This is the first time that conclusive evidence has been obtained of what the oral tradition already pointed out and not only for the bullet impacts of the skulls found. The archaeologists of the company Tibicena also found metal buckles, corsets, footwear of the brand Tiger of the time, a coin belonging to the Republic, as well as remains of ammunition PS brand, that is, Pirotécnica Sevilla, said Martath Alamón.

“A democratic society must repair the damage done by the dictatorship, it is the commitment we have to the unjustly murdered people and their families, to offer them their remains and all possible information, “said Sr. Morales, who renewed the Cabildo’s commitment to this cause.

The horrific finds back up terrible stories told by survivors, such as a resident of Gáldar, who was taken to the place with his brother and other young people and saw others killed and thrown into well.

The Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage thus undertakes what is considered the last and definitive phase of the surveys initiated in 2013 with the purpose of recovering the human remains of people shot between March and April 1937 after the coup d’etat directed against the government of the Second Republic.

According to oral sources, 80 years ago, people from Arucas, Agaete, Gáldar and the capital of Gran Canaria were thrown into this well.

Located in the same channel of the Tenoya Ravine, visible from the general road and located just below the new bridges, it is estimated that its construction is prior to 1924.

Since the beginning of the work, five years ago, with the well filled with dirt and debris, only a great deal of stones, debris and undergrowth had been extracted with great effort, construction debris of all kinds and even a motorcycle, bones of many animals and even the chassis of a truck.

It was last March when the first human skeletal remains were identified at 35 metres deep in two lateral galleries 14 and 30 metres long. In these two galleries no cranial remains or any per-sonal objects were identi-fied.

It is this final phase, “in the light of the well,” about five metres below the base of the mentioned galleries where conclusive data was found. The technicians estimate that there are still about twelve metres to complete the excavation, which will last several months and in which the Cabildo will invest 70,000 euros, 300,000 from 2013.

The intention of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria is to continue with the works until reaching the bottom of the Well of Tenoya and to the bottom of the question to find all the human remains there.