Spanish Cemetery Evictions – Pushed for space, a Spanish cemetery in Torrero is placing evictions. It means that thousands of burial sites whose leases are up will either have to pay up or be moved by their relatives or caretakers.
Jose Abadia, deputy urban planning manager for northern Zaragoza city, said Monday the city’s Torrero municipal graveyard had removed remains from some 420 crypts in recent months and removed them to a common burial ground.
Torrero, like many Spanish cemeteries, no longer allows people to buy grave sites. It instead leases them out for periods of five or 49 years.
Abadia said the cases involved graves whose leases had not been renewed for 15 years or more. He said Torrero currently had some 7,000 burial sites with lapsed leases out of a total of some 114,000.
He said leases generally lapsed because the relatives or caretakers had died or had moved and failed to renew the contract. He said in other cases, with the passing of years family descendants sometimes no longer wanted to pay for further leases.
He said the policy was a matter of graveyard management and that graveyards were not limitless in space.
“If we keep on building and building spaces for human remains, where are we going to end up?” he said. “It’s a problem that is affecting big city cemeteries more and more.”