ETA kidnapped and shot Miguel Angel Blanco, a Basque local politician, after a 48-hour ultimatum to the government to transfer all ETA prisoners throughout Spain to prisons in the Basque country.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of ETA's murder of Miguel Angel Blanco. Photo: EFE
Today marks 15 years since ETA assassinated Miguel Angel Blanco, a town councillor in the Basque town of Ermua.
Blanco was 29 years old when he was kidnapped on July 10th, 1997. The armed Basque group ETA claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and gave the Spanish Government a 48-hour ultimatum government to transfer all ETA prisoners throughout Spain to prisons in the Basque country.
Only ten days before, the police had released two people kidnapped by ETA: businessman Cosme Delclaux and prison guard Jose Antonio Ortega Lara, who had been kidnapped for 532 days.
Many people think the kidnapping came as a retaliation for the release of the two hostages.
The kidnapping sparked outrage and brought millions of people onto the streets calling for the release of the local politician. However, a few hours after ETA's demands were not met, Miguel Angel Blanco was found with two gunshot wounds in his head in a forest in Lasarte-Oria. He died some hours later in a Donostia hospital.
Blanco's killing marked a turning point in attitudes toward the ETA. Basques who once whispered their opposition to the group in private were then screaming it in public.