Photo: Spain Graves
Strapped for space, Torrero Municipal Cemetery in Spain has started issuing eviction notices, and repossessing crypts from payment defaulters.
Jose Abadia, deputy urban planning manager for the northern Zaragoza city, said the policy was an issue of graveyard management and that cemeteries eventually reach a space limit.
Many cemeteries in Spain, no longer allow people to buy grave sites, and instead issues leases, for periods that range between 5 and 50 years.
Abadia said Torrero has placed eviction notice stickers on sites that have not renewed their lease for 15 years or more; according to Abadía, Torrero currently has some 7,000 graves that have been defaulted on.
The sticker campaign coincided with “Dia de los Muertos,” the Catholic holyday for visiting the departed.
Since the campaign was launched, hundreds of people have called to ask management about the graves of their dear ones. Before, cemetery management would take months, sometime up to six months or more, to contact defaulters and urge them to make a decision concerning the remains of their loved ones.