Pilar Careaga

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Pilar Careaga
Pilar Careaga.png
Mayor of Bilbao
In office
Personal details
Born(1908-10-26)October 26, 1908
Madrid, Spain
DiedJune 10, 1993(1993-06-10) (aged 84)
Madrid, Spain

Maria del Pilar Careaga Basabe (October 26, 1908 – June 10, 1993) was a Spanish politician and industrial engineer. She was the first woman to be mayor of Bilbao.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The daughter of Pedro González de Careaga y Quintana, count of Cadagua, and Concepción Basabe y Zubiría, she was born in Madrid.[2]

Careaga studied surveying and then completed her studies in industrial engineering at the Technical University of Madrid, becoming the first woman engineer in Spain.

She also became the first woman in Spain to drive a train.[3]


Pilar Careaga was an unsuccessful Renovación Española candidate for Biscay province in the Spanish election of 1933.[4] At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, she was put in Larrínaga Prison [es]. She was freed in a prisoner exchange in September 1936.

She then travelled to the front in Madrid where she represented the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, looking after injured Franco supporters. She returned to Bilbao after the war.[1]

She was awarded the Roman Catholic Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1958.

In 1959, she joined the Real Sociedad Bascongada de Amigos del País.

In 1964, she was named to the provincial council for the Movimiento Nacional, serving as the first woman deputy for Biscay from 1964 to 1969.[1]

She served as mayor of Bilbao from 1969 to 1977.[3]

On March 25, 1979, Careaga was shot six times by ETA whilst seated with her husband in her car driving to church in Guecho.[5] This was the first time the organisation attempted to assassinate a woman. She survived but retired from public life.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1943, she married Enrique Lequerica Erquiza, an engineer who was the brother of José Félix de Lequerica y Erquiza.[1]

Careaga died in Madrid at the age of 84.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Pilar Careaga y Basabé" (in Spanish). Real Academia de la Historia.
  2. ^ Alzugaray, Juan José; Aguirre, Juan José Alzugaray (2004-09-01). Vascos relevantes del siglo XX (in Spanish). Encuentro. ISBN 9788474907339.
  3. ^ a b "Biography" (PDF). University of Alicante.
  4. ^ "Pilar Careaga, primera mujer ingeniero de España". El Cadenazo (in Spanish).
  5. ^ "Bilbaopedia - María del Pilar Careaga Basabe". www.bilbaopedia.info. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  6. ^ Franco, Fundación Nacional Francisco; FNFF, Redacción (2019-03-04). "Pilar Careaga Basabe, primera mujer Ingeniero de España, falangista y Alcaldesa de Bilbao". fnff.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  7. ^ "99: maria del pilar careaga". Magnificent Women. Retrieved 2020-05-09.