The Basque separatist guerrilla organisation ETA has claimed responsibility for killing Senor Augusto Uncena-Barrenechea president of the local government of Vizcaya Province and his two guards on Saturday (8 October).
The Basque separatist guerrilla organisation ETA has claimed responsibility for killing Senor Augusto Uncena-Barrenechea president of the local government of Vizcaya Province and his two guards on Saturday (8 October). The President was shot in the head and chest after he got out of his car to go and play the basque game of pelota.
SYNOPSIS: Two para-military civil guards escorting Senor Uncena-Barrenechea were gunned down in their car 15 metres (yards) away from where he fell dead, outside the pelota court. Police in Guernica, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Bilbao in North West Spain said the officials was alone in his car. All political parties have condemned the attack as an attempt to undermine Spain's new-founded and fragile democracy. Opposition leaders meeting Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez in Madrid to discuss improving Spain's poor economy said they would urgently draft a law 'for the defence of democracy against terrorism."
The killings came just two days after representatives of opposition parties and Senor Suarez's ruling Centrist group had agreed on a new amnesty for political prisoners. The proposed amnesty -- the fourth since King Juan Carlos acceded to the throne after General Franco's death in November 1975 - still has to be debated and approved by parliament. As it stands, all Basque political prisoners will be freed -- and most of them are members of the separatist guerrillas. According to the guerrillas' military branch, they will continue their armed struggle against the military government.
The murders coincide with a new amnesty campaign launched by Basque leftists against the wishes of the majority parties in the region -- the basque nationalists Party (PNV) and the Socialists. The attack came shortly after negotiations had begun between the Madrid government and Basque parliamentary deputies on granting a measure of autonomy to the North-West Basque region. The president of the provincial council of neighbouring Guipuzcoa, Santiago Sanmartin, said the murder of Senor Uncena-Barrenechea would definitely not help the cause of Basque autonomy. senor Sanmartin's predecessor. Juan Maria de Araluce, was killed in similar circumstances 16 months ago in San Sebastian. His murderers have not been caught.