Tall de la pedra de Macael (Almería).Núria Ricart, 2019

Children in Prison

Hundreds of children were imprisoned alongside their mothers at Les Corts





Young boys and girls have always been, even today, an overlooked reality in every women’s prison. There were already 30 children (alongside 609 women) at Les Corts ‘correctional for women’, run by the catalan government, in May 1938. That figure was increased to 43, all of them less than 2 years old, (alongside 1806 women), in the summer of the following year inside the renamed provincial prison, managed by the Francoist authorities.

The incarceration of children alongside their mothers added to the existing misery, according to the testimonies recorded. A considerable number became ill and died in prison due to the appalling living conditions during the early post-war years.

There was another hidden fact running parallel to this: children older than 2, separated from their mothers, and who were allowed to visit for a few hours on 3 specific days: the Epiphany, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy and the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. These occasions were co-opted by the Francoist authorities to showcase their alleged good will towards the prisoners and their families with photographic chronicles published in the official periodicals.

The Asociación contra el Silencio y el Olvido por la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica de Málaga (Association against Silence and Oblivion and for the Recovery of Historic Memory of Malaga) was created with the intention of exhuming and dignifying the remains of several thousand people who had been executed by the Francoist authorities in the city.

A mausoleum containing the recovered remains was inaugurated in 2014 in the old cemetery. In March 2019, this association received the Medal of the City, awarded by the City Hall of Malaga.

The reference to Almeria in the stone evokes the memory of the infamous Desbandá, the attack by air, land, and sea, in February 1937, against the civilian population that were fleeing Malaga towards Almeria.

Macael Marble in the Foreground. Photo Fernando Hernández 2019
Mercy Festivities. Memoir of "Patronato de Redención de Penas por el Trabajo", 1949.
Macael Marble in the Foreground. Photo Plataforma Monument Presó de Les Corts 2019
Mercy Festivities. Memoir of "Patronato de Redención de Penas por el Trabajo", 1954. Photo Postius