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Montejurra Massacre
Montejurra in Spanish and Jurramendi in Basque are the names of a mountain in Navarre (Spain) region. Each year, it hosts a Carlista celebration, in remembrance of the 1873 Battle of Montejurra during the Third Carlist War. In 2004, about 1 000 persons were present.

1976 massacre

On May 9, 1976, less than a year after Francisco Franco's death, the Carlist party was victim of a violent incident organized by Franco's supporters, who still controlled the state apparatus. Ricardo García Pellejero and Aniano Jiménez Santo, two supporters of Carlist pretender Carlos-Hugo de Borbón-Parma, were murdered by far-right gunmen[1]. At the time of the events, the British magazine The Economist speculated about possible Government involvement in the events:
"The region is so tightly policed that opposition parties find it difficult to hold even small private meetings. Yet somehow on a hilltop surrounded by civil guards, more than 50 gunmen could establish themselves for 24 hours, set up an ambush, open fire and make their getaway without attracting official attention."[2]
Among the perpetrators of the crime were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and fifteen former members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), including Rodolfo Almirón, who later became Manuel Fraga's chief of personal security [3]. Jean Pierre Cherid, former member of the French OAS and then of the GAL death squad, was also present [4] [5]. The Spanish intelligence agency SECED brought far-right members to the Montejurra celebrations, while other extremist organizations such as the Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey, Fuerza Nueva and others contacted members of the Italian International Fascists and of the Triple A. Augusto Canchi, wanted by Italian justice for his role in the 1980 Bologna massacre, was also there.
This attack was organized with the help of Carlos-Hugo's brother, Sixto Enrique de Borbón, who opposed the Carlist break with Franco (1965-67) and the leftist Titoist turn taken by Carlos-Hugo's movement.
According to General Sáenz de Santa María, Sixto had obtained the secret services' help in order to overthrow his brother's faction during the Montejurra celebrations:
"The operation received the code-name "Operación Reconquista". Contacts were established with organisms such as the SECED (CESID's predecessor), the Guardia Civil and Sixto's Carlist allies, José Arturo Márquez de Prado, Antonio María de Oriol, Urquijo, and General Campano, who was at that time Guardia Civil's head. Founded by Carrero Blanco, SECED was directed at this moment by general Juan Valverde. The meetings were coordinated by Minister Manuel Fraga himself."[6][7]
Although the murders took place in close proximity to the location of Interior Minister Manuel Fraga's security forces, no one was arrested nor their weapons seized.[2] Even though there was photographic evidence of one of the right-wing terrorists taking part of the events, he was not brought to trial.[8]


Following the requests of the Carlist Party, two Spanish citizens, José Luis Marín García Verde and Hermenegildo García Llorente, were indicted with murder and posteriorly released without trial as part of a blanket amnesty for "political prisoners" in March 1977.
On November 11, 2003, after various failures, one of the Carlist Party's motions led to the recognition by the Spanish high court of the two dead Carlists as victims of terrorism, therefore allowing their families to claim compensation from the Spanish Government[9].
In the name of the victims of the Montejurra events, Spanish lawyer José Angel Pérez Nievas pressed charges in January 2007 for the leader of the Triple A, Rodolfo Almirón to be put on trial for his alleged actions during the Montejurra events. He had been apprehended in Spain in December 2006, following an arrest warrant and extradition request issued by a judge from his home country.[10]


  1. ^ "Two slain at Carlist rally", Facts on File World News Digest, June 12, 1976
  2. ^ a b "Spain; Necrophiliacs", The Economist, The World; International Report; Pg. 50. May 22, 1976
  3. ^ Denuncian que Almirón también participó en la ultraderecha española, Telam Argentine news agency, January 6, 2007 (Spanish)
  5. ^ Rodolfo Almirón, de la Triple A al Montejurra, PDF (Spanish)
  6. ^ Carcedo, Diego. Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando, ISBN 84-8460-309-1
  7. ^ Translated quote from "Crimenes de Montejurra 1976"
  8. ^ "Santa Rita for president", The Economist, Survey; Spain; Survey Pg. 17. April 2, 1977
  9. ^ "Crimenes de Montejurra 1976" (Spanish)
  10. ^ "Denuncian que Almirón también participó en la ultraderecha española", Telam Argentine news agency, January 6, 2007 (Spanish)

Further reading

  • Onrubia Revuelta, Javier (et al.). Montejurra: 1976-2006. Biblioteca popular carlista, 13. Moraleja de Enmedio: Arcos Ediciones, 2006. ISBN 8495735253
  • Llopis de la Torre, Felipe. Montejurra: tradición contra revolución. Buenos Aires: Editorial Rioplatense, 1976. LCCN 78-101717
  • Clemente, José Carlos, and Carles S. Costa. Montejurra 76: encrucijada politica. Barcelona: Editorial La Gaya Ciencia, 1976. ISBN 8470809075

See also

External links

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