Luis Roldán

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Luis Roldán
Toma de posesion del director general de la Guardia Civil. Pool Moncloa. 5 de noviembre de 1986 (cropped).jpeg
Luis Roldán in 1986
Director General of the Civil Guard
In office
1986 – December 3, 1993
Personal details
Luis Roldán Ibáñez

(1943-08-16) August 16, 1943 (age 75)[1]
Zaragoza, Spain
Political partySocialist Workers' Party
Alma materUNED (real), University of Saragossa[citation needed]

Luis Roldán Ibáñez (born August 16, 1943 in Zaragoza, Spain)[1] is a former Spanish Socialist Workers' Party politician known for being the director general of the Civil Guard when a big scandal of corruption arose in 1993. This case, along with the GAL case, greatly contributed to the defeat of the PSOE in the 1996 general election. Upon initiation of prosecution for his criminal activities, Luis Roldán escaped from Spain in 1994. He surrendered in 1995 at the airport in Bangkok. Between 1996 and 1998 he was tried in a court of Madrid. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison for embezzlement, bribery, tax evasion and fraud, the Supreme Court increased to 31 years. He was from February 1995 in the female prison of Brieva (Ávila) In 2005 he was allowed out of prison to work[2] in an intermediate regime between the second and third degree. [3]

Political career[edit]

A long time of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and of the Unión General de Trabajadores trade-union, Roldán presented himself as he holding a BSc (Industrial Engineering) from the University of Saragossa.[citation needed] journalistic research proved that this degree was a fake.[citation needed]

After the socialist victory in the 1982 general elections Roldán was named he was Govenment's Delegate in Navarre. Position he held until 1986 when, he became the first civilian to command the Civil Guard, (Spain's gendarmerie force).

Under his direction, major changes leading to the modernisation of the corps where undertaken. A program to reform and upgrade the residential barracks (many being in very bad state);women were recruited for the first time for the Civil Guard;[4] the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard was created; remnants of past political investigations where eliminated[5]; and the counter-terrorism and intelligence services of the corps where enhanced enhanced, obtaining great success in infiltrating the separatist group ETA, leading to operations such as the arrest of the leadership of the organization in Bidart on March 29, 1992.

Under his direction the Civil Guard saw the appearance of an internal protest movement,composed mostly of enlisted personnel and NCOs, seeking to better the working conditions and the de-miliatrisation and democratisation of the Corps, forming a clandestine union of Civil Guardsmen. [6]


While he was director, defective Filipino-made bullets of 9 mm Parabellum were purchased which injured military personnel. In 1993 the newspaper Diario 16 published the first suspicions concerning excessive increase of the heritage of Luis Roldán, which eventually led to his dismissal on December 3 of that year. Roldán fled the country in early 1994 when it was discovered that he had used his office to amass a fortune through fraudulent means, resulting in the resignation of Interior Minister Antoni Asunción, responsible for monitoring Roldán, as a consequence.[7] During his time missing, Roldán sent letters admitting partial guilt and accusing other Interior Ministry high-ranking members of having received extra money from the fondos reservados (Spanish for reserved funds) theoretically destined to finance the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. Among those he accused was former minister José Luis Corcuera, but also PM González of 'being aware of everything'. Roldán was arrested on February 27, 1995 in Bangkok's Don Muang Airport,[8] amidst claims that Roldán and the Socialist government had reached an agreement in which Roldán would agree to get caught in exchange of him being charged of just two crimes: bribery and embezzlement. These claims came to be known as the "Laos papers", yet the PSOE government refused to recognize their veracity.

Jail and subsequent life[edit]

He was sent to the female prison of Brieva (Ávila) in February 1995. In 2005 he was allowed out of prison to work.

Judges have successfully raised 1,646,845 euros in civil procedure seizure of bank accounts and the auction of some of their properties seized in Spain. The bulk of his fortune, equivalent to 10 million euros in 1993, is missing.[9]

On March 19, 2010 he was released from prison after 15 years in jail.[10]

In 2015 writer Fernando Sánchez Dragó published a fictionalized biography of Roldán, with his collaboration.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Luis Roldán. El primer civil al frente de la Benemérita". El Mundo. October 18, 2004.
  2. ^ Hernández, J.A. (April 20, 2005). "La Audiencia de Madrid permite a Roldán salir de la cárcel para trabajar". El País.
  3. ^ Colpisa (November 14, 2008). "María Teresa Campos entrevista a Luis Roldán". Diario de Navarra.
  4. ^ ABC, 23 August, 1987
  5. ^ País, Ediciones El (1993-01-21). "Roldán ordena destruir las fichas políticas que aún usa la Guardia Civil". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  6. ^ "Atrapados en el búnker". Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  7. ^ Antonio Asunción, el ministro que supo dimitir en el 'felipismo' in
  8. ^ El fugitivo Luis Roldán, capturado en Laos in
  9. ^ Roldán sale libre con su botín in
  10. ^ Lago, Concha. "Luis Roldán sale de prisión". Diario de Noticias de Navarra. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Sánchez Dragó novela las memorias de Roldán, el prófugo más famoso de la historia reciente de España Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine en