The Spanish army paid their last respects to Madrid's military governor on Friday (5 January) with a funeral march to the capital's city cemetery.
The Spanish army paid their last respects to Madrid's military governor on Friday (5 January) with a funeral march to the capital's city cemetery. Major-General Constantino Ortin Gil was killed by three bullets fired outside his central Madrid residence on Wednesday (3 January). Left-wing Basque guerrillas later claimed responsibility for the shooting.
SYNOPSIS: The Basque separatist organisation, ETA, is responsible for the deaths of about two-thirds of the ninety-one people killed in Spain's political violence last year. Major-General Ortin Gil died only twenty-four hours after the Military Governor of Spain's troubled Basque province, Guipuzcoa, was shot dead in another incident, also believed to be politically motivated.
Major-General Ortin Gil was rushed to hospital after the shooting, where he later died of a head wound.
More than four thousand police and civil guards immediately began to hunt the military governor's killers. Traffic was snarled up around Madrid as police set up road blocks.
After Major-General Ortin Gil's funeral service, military officers bore the coffin shoulder-high in a three kilometre (two mile) march through the streets of Madrid. The officers encouraged rightists to break through police cordons and join the funeral march. About a thousand demonstrators -- with their right arms raised in the fascist salute, and chanting "government assassins" and "army to power" then turned the march into an anti-government demonstration.
The right-wingers believe that the government has 'sold-out' to left-wing guerrillas with the country's proposed constitution. Following the funeral, Spain's Interior Minister, Rodolfo Martin Villa, said: "We have to finish with ETA, otherwise ETA will finish with us and democracy."