Miguel Ángel Blanco

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Miguel Ángel Blanco
Councillor for Ermua
In office
28 May 1995 – 13 July 1997
Personal details
Born Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido
(1968-05-13)13 May 1968
Ermua, Basque Country, Spain
Died 13 July 1997(1997-07-13) (aged 29)
Lasarte-Oria, Basque Country, Spain
Resting place A Merca cemetery
Nationality Spanish
Political party People's Party
Domestic partner María del Mar Díaz
Alma mater University of the Basque Country

Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido (13 May 1968 – 13 July 1997) was a local Spanish politician for the People's Party, who was kidnapped and subsequently executed by the Basque separatist group ETA.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Miguel Ángel Blanco was born on 13 May 1968 in Ermua (Biscay) into a humble family. He had a sister, María del Mar. His father, Miguel Blanco, was a construction worker and his mother, Consuelo Garrido, was a housewife. They were Galician immigrants from Xunqueira de Espadanedo (Ourense, Galicia)

Miguel Ángel Blanco graduated in Economics at the Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea in Sarriko. For a long time he worked with his father in construction, but he found work at Eman Consulting, in Eibar, where he commuted to every day by train. He also played the drums in the bands Póker and Cañaveral. He was a sports fan and his dream was to walk to Madrid to protest against the possible closure of the Ermua' sports centre.

He joined the youth-wing of the PP, Nuevas Generaciones, in 1995 and, due to it being a relatively small party in the area where the national parties compete against the PNV, he was the third candidate for the municipal elections in that year; he became a member of the town's council.

He had a fiancée, Marimar, and they were engaged to be married in September 1997.

Kidnapping[edit]

On 10 July 1997, Blanco was kidnapped by ETA which threatened to assassinate him unless the Spanish Government started to transfer all ETA prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country within 48 hours. Hours before the ultimatum expired, one of the biggest mass demonstrations in Spanish history[citation needed] started in all major cities[citation needed], demanding the release of Miguel Ángel. But 50 minutes after the deadline expired, at 16:50 of 12 July, he was shot in the back of the head.[1] Shortly thereafter, he was found on the outskirts of San Sebastián, in the throes of death, with his hands tied.[2] He died in the hospital at 04:30 of 13 July.

Repercussions[edit]

A young woman remembers Miguel in 2006; his photo reads "Justice = Peace. No to negotiation."

His kidnapping and death were very important to Spanish society. It also had a deep impact upon Basque society, and, in an unprecedented move, even some of ETA's own supporters publicly condemned the killing.[3] The "Spirit of Ermua" was born at this time as was the anti-terrorist organization Foro de Ermua and the Fundación Miguel Ángel Blanco.

2006 saw the beginning of the trial of his kidnappers and murderers, Francisco Javier García Gaztelu ("Txapote") and his girlfriend, Irantzu Gallastegi ("Amaia"). Another kidnapper, José Luis Geresta Mujika, committed suicide two years after the murder of Miguel Ángel.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Spanish) Viana, Israel. "Todos los atentados de la banda terrorista: Miguel Ángel Blanco". ETA, medio siglo de terror. ABC newspaper. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  2. ^ (Spanish) Marín, Maribel (1997-07-13). "ETA abandona a Blanco con dos tiros en la cabeza tras desoír el clamor de los ciudadanos". El País. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "What is Eta?". Europe (BBC News). 5 September 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
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