Miguel Ángel Blanco

Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido (13 May 1968 – 13 July 1997) was a local Spanish politician for the Popular Party-PP, who was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by the separatist group ETA.

Miguel Ángel Blanco
Busto de Miguel Ángel Blanco en los jardines a los que da nombre en Madrid.jpg
Miguel Angel Blanco bust in the gardens bearing his name in Madrid
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
Died13 July 1997(1997-07-13) (aged 29)
Lasarte-Oria, Basque Country, Spain
Resting placeA Merca cemetery
NationalitySpanish
Political partyPeople's Party
Domestic partnerMaría del Mar Díaz
MotherConsuelo Garrido
FatherMiguel Ángel Blanco
Alma materUniversity of the Basque Country

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

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). Consuelo died on 1 April 2020 from coronavirus,[1] three weeks after her husband's death.[2]

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 sister, Marimar.

KidnappingEdit

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 throughout Spain, demanding his release. But 50 minutes after the deadline expired, at 16:50 on 12 July, he was shot in the back of the head.[3] Shortly thereafter, he was found on the outskirts of San Sebastián, with his hands tied, dying.[4] He died in the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on 13 July. He is interred in Faramontaos, A Merca, with his parents.[5]

RepercussionsEdit

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.[6] 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 Blanco's murder.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Muere Consuelo Garrido, la madre de Miguel Ángel Blanco, a causa del coronavirus". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  2. ^ Europa Press (12 March 2020). "Muere el padre de Miguel Ángel Blanco, asesinado por ETA en 1997". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Europa Press. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b Viana, Israel (2010). "Todos los atentados de la banda terrorista: Miguel Ángel Blanco". ETA, medio siglo de terror (in Spanish). ABC. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  4. ^ Marín, Maribel (13 July 1997). "ETA abandona a Blanco con dos tiros en la cabeza tras desoír el clamor de los ciudadanos". El País (in Spanish). San Sebastián. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  5. ^ Lozano, Andros (17 June 2020). "Miguel y Chelo, los padres de Miguel Ángel Blanco, descansarán por fin junto a su hijo tras 23 años". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  6. ^ "What is Eta?". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
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