Casares has two common graves that contain a total of 43 bodies. These graves are a result of the repression during the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939 and are the mass graves of Cerro de la Horca and Arroyo Marín, in addition to a single burial in Puerto de la Cruz.
In the contingent war, Casares fell to the National Army on the 3rd of October, 1936. Several days before the capture, the terrified civilian population of Casares escaped to the capital of Malaga. They used the slopes of the Bermeja, Blanca and Mijas Mountain Ranges as, due to their reliefs, they served as a refuge from the constant bombardment from Nationalist boats on the Mediterranean coast. The villages of the coast became the recipients of refugees from Casares: Marbella alone received 650 Casares natives.
Faced with the change of the political direction in Malaga, the Casares refugees could not seek asylum in the city, leading them to either look for shelter in the villages of the province or continue their march along the deadly route between Malaga and Almeria.
In the middle of February 1937, thousands of families returned to Casares where, little by little, the town recovered most of its population. The returning natives were stunned by what the war had given them: destruction, blood and hunger. Their houses had been raided or destroyed.
The executed people of Cerro de la Horca.
The context of the return to Casares brought back many who soon after would be executed. Upon arrival in the village, they were verbally denounced before the new municipal authorities who arrested them and placed them in prison. On the night of the 16th of February of 1937 they were removed from prison and told they would be taken to Algeciras, a focal point of the National Army in those days of war.
When they had travelled along a short length of the route, near to a forge, the first prisoner died, the youngest, who refused to continue walking, uttering the words: “…you are going to kill me right here, we will never get to Algeciras on this route”. He was the younger brother of the mayor of the Popular Front in Casares, who had been captured since his older brother could not be found. They continued along the route carved from the rock, an old road project from the days of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship, a route which that night would be witness to a spiral of blood and violence.
The next day, on the 17th of February, in the early hours, some of their wives went to the prison of Casares to bring their husbands coffee but they discovered the empty cells. Rumours spread that lead to the worst possible prognosis. They all cried bitterly.
The wives of those executed were taken to a house in Calle La Fuente, where their hair was shaved to the bare minimum. It was meant to teach them a lesson.
At the beginning of spring, dogs uncovered the site where the remains of the executed men were located. An old man, the uncle of one of the victims, buried the remains that were near the surface and surrounded the common grave of Cerro de la Horca with rocks where, according to tradition, the Inquisition passed judgement on those who did not practice the true religion.