Councillors joined representatives from the association to place the post on Monday / sur

Commemorative post marks 85 year anniversary of ‘La Desbandá’

A cultural and hiking association based in Nerja is to organise a walk from 3 to 12 February to remember those who lost their lives during the February 1937 atrocity

Eugenio Cabezas

This February will mark the 85th anniversary of 'La Desbandá', one of the most tragic episodes of the Civil War in Malaga. Thousands of families tried to escape to Almeria after Franco's troops captured Malaga city in 1937, and the horrors that ensued left many of them dead along the way.

In response to the request of the Asociación Sociocultural and Club Senderista 'La Desbandá', Nerja town hall has placed a commemorative post to coincide with the 85th anniversary. It has been installed, with the prior authorisation of the Junta de Andalucía, at the exit of the bridge over the Barranco de Maro ravine, in the Maro-Cueva de Nerja area.

This is one of the sections of the Malaga to Almeria road, the old N-340, which was declared an Andalusian site of historical memory by the Junta de Andalucía in 2012 to mark the tragedy, when between 3,000 and 5,000 people were killed in military operations along the Malaga to Almeria road during Spain's Civil War.

Monday’s event was attended by the mayor of Nerja, José Alberto Armijo, and the provincial delegate of the Asociación Sociocultural and Club Senderista La Desbandá, David Franco. They were accompanied by Nerja’s councillor for Education and Culture, Gema Laguna, and councillors José Juan Aído and Andrés Jiménez.

This landmark is just one of a series that the group hopes to install along the route they follow during their annual commemorative walk. This year’s walk will take place between 3 and 12 February, when the association will cover, in different stages, the distance between Malaga and Almeria.

The association will be organising a programme of events to remember the thousands of people who lost their lives in Malaga province while fleeing Franco’s invasion in February 1937.