The murder of Miguel Angel Blanco, a PP Councillor in Ermua in the Basque Country, at the hands of ETA Basque separatist group in 1997 marked a distinct change in the situation in Spain regarding terrorism, and Mijas Council chose the date of his death, July 13, to hold a tribute to victims.
The councillor was kidnapped on July 10, 1997 by ETA, who gave the government 48 hours to transfer all ETA prisoners to Basque Country jails. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated to demand his release but the terrorist group showed no compassion and shot him in the back of the head just 50 minutes after the deadline. He died in hospital at 4.30am on July 13.
The tragic event sparked a turning of the tables in Spanish society, for which this barbaric murder appeared to be the final straw.
In Mijas, the perfect place to mark the date and honour victims is the Victimas del Terrorismo (victims of terrorism) roundabout in Las Lagunas, and local Mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado, councillors and members of the public gathered to pay tribute yesterday morning (Wednesday, July 13).
After a minute’s silence, broken by a round of applause, the council team deposited a laurel wreath at the feet of the peace symbol statue and the mayor read out a manifesto pledging to retain victims of all types of terrorism and their relatives in Mijas’ memory.
“Who can forget ETA’s cold-blooded murders, the car bombs, the attacks on schools, supermarkets and public transport, the sowing of fear? Who can forget those who lost their lives on trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004 on their way to or from work or school when jihadist radicalism tore our souls apart? Who can forget those who bear the scars of terrorism or have lost their identities through fear?
“In Mijas we forget none of this and those who died will remain in our collective memories forever, beside those who have lived and continue to live under the pressure of fear and the yoke of terrorism.
“Memory, dignity and justice. Mijas and its people do not forget,” the manifesto read.
“This tribute is not just for ETA victims. It is for everyone who has suffered barbaric terrorist acts,” Maldonado said.