MarrufoIT was one of the worst massacres of the Franco era.

During the early days of the Spanish Civil War, a large group of women and children were rounded up and shot in a chapel near Jimena de la Frontera.

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Later this month, the slaughter of the hundreds of innocents – thought to be the largest such massacre in Cadiz – will be remembered in a special commemoration ceremony.

It happened in November that year, when Franco’s Fascist troops arrived at the small hamlet of La Sauceda

Republicans were quickly rounded up by the Nationalist troops.

Under the leadership of Guardia Jose Robles, the captured women and children were then taken by lorry to a chapel at nearby Marrufo, while their menfolk followed on foot.

Once there, they were held captive for a number of days, during which many of the women were raped.

Then finally, they were shot and dumped in communal graves next to the chapel.

Their husbands were unable to help and were soon added to the mass of bodies.

It is not known exactly how many people were killed, but locals estimated that the figure is a few hundred.

There is an opportunity to learn more about the massacre when Jimena hosts ‘I Jornadas de Memoria Histórica’ between March 27 and 29.

Organised with the backing of Jimena town hall, it will be a fascinating insight into the massacre and other mass executions in the area.

A number of experts will discuss the tragic events and on the Sunday there will be a commemoration ceremony.

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  1. La Sauceda used to be a “bandolero” or bandit community, finally evolving into a small mountain hamlet. After the rounding up of the townsfolk, it was left abandoned until the 1990’s when the Junta restored it for educational and turistic pursuits, you can even rent out the huts these days. Also, anything new on the BIGGEST mass grave site in Spain? Any articles going to be published?

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