Poet Garcia Lorca's grave stokes Spanish Civil War dispute

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VIZNAR, Spain -- The tranquil, pine-carpeted hills in this patch of southern Spain hold awful secrets. Now, one of them has been thrust into the spotlight of a still painful accounting of atrocities committed in the Spanish Civil War.

The dispute has arisen over whether to open the grave of Federico Garcia Lorca, widely considered Spain's best 20th century poet and playwright.

At the start of the 1936-39 war, Viznar, near the ancient city of Granada, became one of many execution grounds for perceived opponents of Francisco Franco, the army general who unleashed the conflict by rising up against the elected, leftist Republican government...

Garcia Lorca was shot along with a schoolteacher named Dioscoro Galindo Gonzalez and two labor union activists — Francisco Galadi and Juan Arcolla — on Aug. 18, 1936. Their bodies are believed buried near an olive tree near Viznar...

While his executioners may have wanted to erase all memory of Garcia Lorca, a dispute over whether to open his grave is now a focus of a broader effort to give proper burial to the thousands believed murdered by Franco's militias.

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