Miguel Ángel Blanco
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|Miguel Ángel Blanco|
Miguel Angel Blanco bust in the gardens bearing his name in Madrid
|Councillor for Ermua|
28 May 1995 – 13 July 1997
|Born||Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido
13 May 1968
Ermua, Basque Country, Spain
|Died||13 July 1997
Lasarte-Oria, Basque Country, Spain
|Resting place||A Merca cemetery|
|Political party||People's Party|
|Domestic partner||María del Mar Díaz|
|Alma mater||University of the Basque Country|
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.
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. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in demonstrations all throughout Spain, 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. Shortly thereafter, he was found on the outskirts of San Sebastián, in the throes of death, with his hands tied. He died in the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on 13 July.
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. 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.
- Viana, Israel. "Todos los atentados de la banda terrorista: Miguel Ángel Blanco". ETA, medio siglo de terror (in Spanish). ABC newspaper. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Marín, Maribel (1997-07-13). "ETA abandona a Blanco con dos tiros en la cabeza tras desoír el clamor de los ciudadanos". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "What is Eta?". Europe. BBC News. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- This article makes use of material translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish-language Wikipedia.
- (Spanish) Biography of Miguel Ángel Blanco in the Fundación Miguel Ángel Blanco webpage