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Catalonia starts DNA project to ID Spain war victims

Demonstrators show photographs of victims during dictator Francisco Franco's reignSpain’s Catalonia region said Wednesday it had launched the country’s first public DNA profiling project to try to identify some of the 114,000 people who disappeared during the nation’s civil war and subsequent dictatorship. The issue is hugely sensitive in Spain, where rights abuses during the 1936-1939 conflict and the ensuing 36-year dictatorship remain uninvestigated for fear of reviving once-bloody divisions, despite growing calls to heal still-open wounds. “This is a decisive step towards restoring historical memory and it is a democratic duty that was long pending,” said Raul Romeva, who handles transparency matters in Catalonia’s regional government.

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