Madrid-based producer César Martínez of Dexiderius Producciones is teaming with writers Rodrigo Martín Antoranz and Pedro García Ríos on the miniseries “Verdugos” (“The Executioners”).

The coming-of-age suspense thriller is being presented at this year’s Conecta Fiction & Entertainment in Toledo, Spain, which runs June 21-24.

Mixing past and a present, “The Executioners” is initially set in 1996 in a small Basque town in Spain’s northern province of Navarra. The story follows four adventurous 12-year-old boys who set out to explore an old abandoned mine. Deep in its bowels, they discover a businessman being held prisoner by the Basque terrorist group ETA – a kidnapping that has been widely reported in the news. The separatists are demanding ransom from the hostage’s family, threatening to execute him in three days’ time if it’s not paid.

After the boys uncover a shocking secret, they become determined to save the man’s life. For one of the boys, it is a decision whose consequences he will struggle with far into the future.

“The Executioners” surprises with originality and the impact of its premise, says Martínez. A hostage who is facing a macabre countdown to a possible execution suddenly finds possible salvation in the four boys. “It is a premise that in itself already contains adventure, fear, uncertainty, but also rhythm and suspense.”

“The story,” Martínez adds, “is set in a town in the Navarrese Pyrenees, but it could just as well take place in Naples with the omertà of the Mafia or in Belfast devastated by IRA bombs. Anywhere, because beyond the local, and how close and painful it is to Spanish viewers, the conflict of ‘The Executioners’ is universal, typical of any society, identifiable for any viewer in the world.”

That universality is also evident in the lives of the young protagonists, he notes. “In childhood one lives, in maturity one remembers. The child spectator will identify with the search for adventure; the adult will look at himself, wondering about the child he was.”

“The Executioners” is one of six projects taking part in Conecta Fiction’s Pitch Clips section, organized in collaboration with Spanish screenwriters’ union ALMA.