Basque separatist group
SEVEN people from
The first was Esteban Maldonado, a Guardia Civil who died when a bomb exploded in Oñate as he and two colleagues were passing in October 1975.
In January 1979, Francisco Gomez, from
In February 1980 Jose Antonio Martinez from Oria died in an attack which claimed the lives of five other Guardia Civil in Vizcaya as they were escorting experts to test weapons on a local beach. Two of the terrorists were also killed in the attack when a grenade which they intended to thrown into one of the Guardia Civil vehicles exploded.
Juan Manuel Rodriguez, from
Pedro Ballesteros, originally from
Jose Arcedo Quiles, aged 42, is the only one of
As well as seven victims,
Known as ‘Lola la Catalana’, ‘La Sanguinaria’ (bloodthirsty) or ‘La Tigresa’ (the tigress) she was sentenced to 102 years in prison in 2008 for an attack in 1992 in which three people died and 22 were injured in Santander.
She is also responsible for several other attacks as the leader of the Commando Barcelona, and has prison sentences amounting to 200 years.
The ‘Almeria Case’ began on
However, that day, three young men had been heading from
A man who had seen the photos of the terrorists wanted for the attack on the TV mistook them and called the Guardia Civil who set up an operation to catch the ‘terrorists’.
At on May 9, the men were arrested while doing some shopping in Roquetas de Mar. They offered no resistance, but the following day, the car was pushed over a precipice and their bodies were found inside shot, dismembered and burned, after having been tortured by a dozen Guardia Civil in Casafuerte.
It appears that after having tortured them, the officers realized their error and attempted to cover it up. On May 10 they claimed the ‘terrorists’ were armed and carried no ID and were killed in a shoot-out when they were being taken to
However the Guardia Civil had to come clean, and that July, the three in charge were sentenced to between 12 and 24 years in prison for torture and manslaughter, as well as having to pay compensation to the families.
However, they were imprisoned in military centres and received large pensions from the Interior Ministry. None of the other Guardia Civil involved were sentenced.
The lawyer representing the families was threatened and ended up hiding in a cave.