There are at least 13 known secondary mass graves in the area designated as Cancari Road in the Bosnian municipality of Zvornik, close to the border with Serbia. The grave sites designated Cancari Road 1 to Cancari Road 12 were excavated in 1998 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, and multiple human remains were found in each. The last mass grave, designated Cancari Road 13, was located by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute. Among locals, the area is known as the ‘Valley of Graves’.
The exhumation at Cancari Road 2, conducted in August 2002 by the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute and the International Commission on Missing Persons, found 224 remains, mostly victims of the Srebrenica genocide.
The grave is located at the very beginning of the road that leads to the village of Kamenica from the city of Zvornik, right next to a small bridge over the River Kamenica. It is also close to several houses – mostly those of Bosniaks who returned to their homes after the war.
Most of the mass graves alongside Cancari Road were discovered by villagers who mainly work in agriculture and recovered bones while cultivating their fields and yards.
The Cancari Road 2 site, like all the other Cancari Road graves, is a secondary mass grave. War victims were reburied here in the autumn of 1995 in an attempt to cover up the killings of Bosniak men and boys in the Srebrenica genocide. Genocide victims’ bodies were initially buried near execution sites in Srebrenica, Pilica, Kozluk, Bratunac and Zvornik in the days after July 15, 1995. Two months later, Bosnian Serb forces were ordered to remove the bodies and rebury them in more remote and hard-to-find locations.
So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes and cover-up operations.