News from CEXS-UPF and IBE
This Wednesday morning, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, met with members of the family of Vicente Santolaria Escrich, who disappeared during Franco's dictatorship and whose remains have been exhumed from the cemetery in Tremp. The results of the genetic identification tests on the remains have been compared with the DNA of his nephew confirming, in this way, his identity. The deceased's brother, Francisco Santolaria, and his nephew, Joan Santolaria, attended the meeting to collect the corresponding documentation and to formalise the transfer of the remains.
The results of the genetic identification tests carried out at the Biological Anthropology Unit of the UAB, the Genomic Core Facilities of UPF and the IBE (UPF-CSIC) have confirmed that the remains are those of the person for whom they were searching. The tests have been carried out by comparative analysis and cross referencing of genetic data from the remains with that of his nephew.
"Despite the poor preservation of the DNA, it has been possible to obtain a genetic profile that has allowed comparison with current relatives. Due to the the climate and soil in Catalonia, the great majority of the samples coming from civil war graves are in very poor condition, so jointly with the Unit of Biological Anthropology of the UAB, we have been working for a long time in improving and optimizing genetic extraction and analysis methodologies," says Ferran Casals, head of the UPF Genomics Core Facility.