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Alfredo Pérez-Rubalcaba awarded maximum police distinctions posthumously for his part in ETA's disarming
13 April 2021 @ 15:24

LATE deputy president of Spain Alfredo Pérez-Rubalcaba has been awarded the highest distinctions within the National Police and Guardia Civil – two forces he was leader of for five years.

Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska and defence minister Margarita Robles presented these awards to Rubalcaba's widow, Pilar Goya, in recognition of her husband's ground-breaking work between April 2006 and July 2011, when he was in Marlaska's rôle.

Minister under the then socialist (PSOE) president of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Rubalcaba (pictured above) – who died within hours of British comedian Freddie Starr - is credited with the dissolution of Basque-based terrorist organisation ETA, which had been active since the early 1970s and whose last major attack was the blast at Madrid airport Terminal 4 car park, killing two people, on December 30, 2006.

ETA had carried out a couple of smaller bombings since then, in summer 2009, one of which targeted a police car in Palmanova, Mallorca.

Constant, ongoing police swoops, investigations and arrests fuelled by Rubalcaba as interior minister led to ETA cells being busted one after the other at breakneck speed – so fast that the organisation did not have time to pull itself together or re-band in between them.

Major Commando leaders, such as Mikel Garikoitz Aspiazu, or 'Txeroki', Aitzol Iriondo, Judan Martitegi, Ibon Gogeascoetxa, and Mikel Carrera, found themselves in custody in quick succession between 2008 and 2010.

Substantially weakened, the last remaining ETA members realised the organisation was no longer viable, announced a permanent ceasefire in the autumn of 2011, and within the next two years had handed in all its weapons and officially declared its closure.

October 20 is the anniversary of ETA's final statement, when it said it would no longer be involved in any armed activity, and the Basque regional government says it 'thinks of' Rubalcaba on this day every year.



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