Iraultza

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Not to be confused with: Iraultza Aske

Iraultza (Basque for Revolution) was a small Basque militant armed group of leftist tendency, active between 1982[1][2] and 1996.[2] as a response to the suppression of the Basque resistance movement[3]. It was thought to be a group of less than 50 people based in Bilbao, largely focused on the destruction of property, particularly those of American multinational corporations[1][3][4] and against other smaller Spanish companies involved in labor disputes[5], in support of Workers' self-management and mobilization, although one of its attacks was responsible for the death of one individual and several for minor injuries of others.[3] According to El Pais, It was thought to be responsible for over 210 attacks during its existence[2]

The group is also known for being described by the United States Government as "probably [having] committed more bombings against American business interests than any other European terrorist group".[6]

Origin and motivations[edit]

The origins of Iraultza have been speculated by several including the James Baker/George P. Shultz-era United States Department of State, and El Pais as being formed of former members of Communist Movement of Euskadi[7][8], although the movement itself denied any link between the two organisations.[7]

The group was reported as not having motives of attacking civilians, only property.[7] Although press had reported a manifesto had been distributed by Iraultza after its formation, their motivations were not widely reported, although they were speculated upon. The ideology of Iraultza based upon their attacks conforms to the pattern of industrial sabotage against mainly American multinational corporations, banks, and corporations or institutions which were perceived as anti-worker or anti-populist[5] Iraultza also espoused anti-capitalistic ideological views.[9]

Deaths[edit]

The group itself[edit]

The majority of the deaths caused by Iraultza were to their own members while placing bombs, with seven members in total dying.[7]

On 13 December 1986[10], an individual was killed on Roncesvalles Avenue in Pamplona, Navarre who was later identified as Juan Carlos Gallardo. He had placed a bomb next to the car of an industrialist with the surname Figanda, whose sausage company was involved in a strong labor conflict at the time, with the company in question presenting workers with termination notices. The device exploded next to the car, killing Gallardo.[10]

After Gallardo's death, a moment of silence and march through was held by over 3000 people, who also were in attendance to protest the death of Mikel Zabalza.[10] The protest went through the streets of Pamplona, walking past the site of Gallardo's death, and some among the crowd chanted support for Iraultza and ETA, although relatives of Zabalza and other residents of Orbaizeta remained quiet.[10]

On 1 May 1991, police confirmed that they had found several people deceased in the remains of SEAT 131 car, who had been killed in an explosion, and identified via their identity documents María Rosa Diez Sáez (30) from Barakaldo and Jesús Fernández Miguel (40), the owner of the car, and found bank savings account documents from another person, reported as Soledad Múgica Areitioaurtena (40) from Ermua, in the wreckage.[7] El Pais stated that Sáez and Areitioaurtena were involved in radical assemblies, but that Miguel was a person unknown to authorities.[7]

The following day, Iraultza contacted the newspaper Egin to confirm that the three fatalities were members of Iraultza. Police sources stated that the three deceased had just placed devices which had detonated in Bilbao and Barakaldo before they were killed manipulating an explosive device.[7]

José Miguel Moros Peña[edit]

According to the newspaper El Pais, on Friday 27 June, 1986, José Miguel Moros Peña (18), a resident of Portagalete and construction worker for Urgandía, a subcontractor for firms Dragados and OCP Construcciones (As of January 2019, a part of ACS Group) was attempting to start a piece of drill machinery (later reported as a crane)[11] at around 7:50 AM when the bomb attached to it exploded, blowing off his left forearm and causing other serious injuries that later resulted in his death.[3] The bomb's supposed clock mechanism, apparently failed to detonate the bomb at its intended time, but the movement of the drill machinery was thought to have initiated the detonation.[3]

An anonymous call was made prior to the detonation to the Santurzi Municipal Police at 11:45 PM on Monday 23 June, 1986, and a bomb squad was sent out to check but reportedly found nothing. The police chief of Bilbao later stated that the police considered the call to be one of many false alarms, and did not consider checking the area again in the light of day.[3]

Incidents[edit]

Iraultza Bombings
Date Location Target Description Motivations Casualties Sources
5 May 1982 Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Bolsa de Bilbao (Bilbao Stock Exchange) Bomb placed on the facade of the building detonated, causing glass damage. Not given / reported None [12]
5 May 1982 Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Cámara de Compensación Bancaria (Chamber of Banking Compensation - a clearing house) Bomb placed on the facade of the building detonated, causing glass damage. Not given / reported. None [12]
19 July 1982 Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Porcelanas del Bidasoa director Mateo José Hernández[13] According to El Pais, a bomb was placed under the car of the director, which was discovered and subsequently disarmed.

The group had placed various calls to newspapers explaining the presence of the bomb.[14]

Not given / reported. None [14]
6 November 1982 Tolosa,

Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

An employment office. 400g of explosives more potent than Goma-2 detonated inside the office. Not given / reported. None [15]
6 November 1982 Lasarte,

Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

A professional training center. 200g of explosives more potent than Goma-2 detonated inside the office. Not given / reported. None [15]
October-November 1982 Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Registro de la Propiedad de Portugalete y Baracaldo (Portugalete and Baracaldo Land Registry office) Not disclosed. Not given / reported. None reported. [16]
22 December 1982 (1:30 AM) Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Bank of America A bomb was placed with an automatic timer, detonating and causing large property damage. Claimed in solidarity against the criminal plans of American imperialism ("Yankee Imperialism") None
[17]
22 December 1982 (1:45 AM) Calle María Díaz de Haro,

Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Ford Motor Company A bomb was placed with an automatic timer, detonating and causing large property damage. Claimed in solidarity against the criminal plans of American imperialism ("Yankee Imperialism") None
[17]
22 December 1982 (2:00AM) Calle doctor Areilza,

Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Avis Rent a Car A bomb was placed with an automatic timer, detonating and causing large property damage. Claimed in solidarity against the criminal plans of American imperialism ("Yankee Imperialism") None
[17]
3 January 1984 Calle Rodríguez Arias,

Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Confederación General de Empresarios de Vizcaya (General confederation of Vizcayan Employers) Bomb placed in the offices exploded as police arrived, causing damage to the premises and cars nearby, An anti-capitalist attack against the bosses presided over by politician Luis Olarra, the "top representative" of the general confederation of Vizcayan Employers.[18] None [9]
18 November 1984 Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain IBM According to the CIA, A bomb was placed within an IBM office in Bilbao, causing significant property damage but no injuries. A second bomb was defused by the police. Not given / reported.
None [4]
3 February 1985 Undisclosed location, Spain Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Bomb was detonated at a Firestone office in an undisclosed location in Spain, causing only property damage. Claimed in solidarity with the people of Central America against American imperialism. None [1]
2 May 1985 Undisclosed location, Spain Branch of Norton[1] (Possibly then-Peter Norton Computing), Bomb detonated in branch causing property damage. Not given / reported.
None [1]
12 November 1985 Undisclosed location, Spain Honeywell Bull (a recent multinational merger between then-Compagnie des Machines Bull of France, NEC of Japan, and Honeywell of the United States) Bomb detonated causing property damage. Claimed in solidarity with the people of Central America and other countries in denouncing American imperialism. It also denounced the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)'s policy regarding NATO. None [1]
27 June 1986 (00:20 AM) Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

3M Minor property damage Not given / reported.
Minor injuries to unnamed policeman [3]
27 June 1986 (07:50 AM) Santurzi,

Basque Country,

Spain

Spanish-owned companies Dragados (not an owner of a United States-based subsidiary until 2005) and OCP Construcciones Destruction of property, death of worker on-site caused by machine triggering timer.[3] In protest against the United State's support of the Contras (see also: Iran–Contra affair). 1 death, José Miguel Moros Peña (18 years) [3]
19 November 1983 Errekalde,

Lasarte,

Basque Country

Coca-Cola Bombing destroyed windows of the factory, packaging and cleaning facilities, and furniture.

Estimated at 500,000 pesetas, $8,131 in 2019.[19]

Not given / reported. None. [20]
26 April 1993 Plaza del Botxo,

Barakaldo,

Basque Country,

Spain

Telefónica (Then partly owned by Motorola and the Spanish Government)[21] Police arrived after receiving an anonymous phone call about the bomb, cordoned off the area prior to the explosion.

A 10kg ammonal bomb detonated causing extensive damage to vehicles and properties within 100 meters.

Claimed but no motivation provided. Suggested as a protest against the Government's economic policy and the 1993 economic downturn in Spain following the Banesto scandal. 3 police officers admitted to hospital, 1 with respiratory problems. [22]
26 April 1993 Iparraguirre, Bilbao,

Basque Country,

Spain

Banco Exterior de España Police arrived after being notified via anonymous call, and cordoned off the area prior to the explosion.

A 2.5kg ammonal bomb placed in a can outside of the bank detonated, causing damage to the bank and shattering the glass of 112 homes.

Claimed but no motivation provided. Suggested as a protest against the Government's economic policy and the 1993 economic downturn in Spain following the Banesto scandal. 4 police officers with minor injuries (minor blunt trauma, splinters and hearing damage) [22]

Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Terrorist Attacks on US Businesses Abroad" (PDF). United States Department Of Justice, Institute of Justice.
  2. ^ a b c País, Ediciones El (1999-08-14). "Mayor Oreja afirma que el proceso de paz "no ha comenzado", pese a la tregua". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i País, Ediciones El (1986-06-28). "Un herido grave en un atentado reivindicado por el grupo Iraultza". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  4. ^ a b "Central Intelligence Agency Reading Room - TERRORISM Review" (PDF). CIA Reading Room.
  5. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1983-10-15). "El mosaico de las organizaciones terroristas vascas". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  6. ^ Schmid, Alex Peter; Crelinsten, Ronald D. (1993-01-01). Western Responses to Terrorism. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780714640907.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g País, Ediciones El (1991-05-01). "Los tres fallecidos en Sestao eran activistas de Iraultza que preparaban un atentado". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  8. ^ "Patterns of Global Terrorism" (PDF).
  9. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1984-01-03). "Estalla una bomba en la sede de la vasca que preside Luis Olarra". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  10. ^ a b c d País, Ediciones El (1986-12-15). "Iraultza asegura que el joven muerto en Pamplona era uno de sus militantes". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  11. ^ País, Ediciones El (1991-05-01). "Los tres fallecidos en Sestao eran activistas de Iraultza que preparaban un atentado". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  12. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1982-05-05). "Un comando desconocido se atribuyó el atentado contra la Bolsa de Bilbao". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  13. ^ País, Ediciones El (1982-07-20). "Francisco Limousin, hijo del gerente de Papelera Tolosana, secuestrado ayer por un comando armado". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  14. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1982-07-20). "Francisco Limousin, hijo del gerente de Papelera Tolosana, secuestrado ayer por un comando armado". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  15. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1982-11-06). "ETAm reivindica el asesinato del general Víctor Lago". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  16. ^ País, Ediciones El (1982-11-15). "ETA Militar y el grupo Iraultza, reivindican varios atentados". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  17. ^ a b c País, Ediciones El (1982-12-23). "Explosión de tres bombas en Bilbao". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  18. ^ País, Ediciones El (1983-09-02). "CEOE y los empresarios vascos consideran imprescindible que puedan usarse inmediatamente los fondos de ayuda". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  19. ^ As per transfer rate on 18 November 1983, the exchange between USD<->ESP (Peseta) was 155.1. The amount was established as 500,000 pesetas in damages. Calculation: 1) 500,000 ESP / 155.1 rate = $3223.726 2) According to US Bureau of Labor statistics, $100 in 1983 in is $252.24, which is $1.00 <-> $2.5224 in 2019. 3) Therefore $3223.726 x $2.5224 = $8,131.526
  20. ^ País, Ediciones El (1983-11-20). "Nuevo atentado del grupo 'Iraultza' contra una multinacional norteamericana". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  21. ^ "Telefónica Annual Report 1993" (PDF).
  22. ^ a b País, Ediciones El (1993-04-28). "Heridos siete policías al explotar dos bombas de Iraultza en Vizcaya". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-01-05.