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Memorial plate at the place of the assassination of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco.
Operación Ogro (Operation Ogre) was the name given by ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna; Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom") to the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco the Prime Minister of Spain in 1973. This attack was carried out on 20 December 1973.

An ETA commando group using the code name Txikia (after the nom de guerre of ETA activist Eustakio Mendizabal killed by Guardia Civil in April 1973) rented a basement flat at Calle Claudio Coello 104, Madridmarker on the route over which Luis Carrero Blanco used to go to mass at San Francisco de Borja church.

Over 5 months, this group dug a tunnel under the street - telling the landlord that they were student sculptors to disguise their real purpose. The tunnel was packed with 80 kg of explosives that had been stolen from a Government depot.

On 20 December 1973, a 3-man ETA commando group disguised as electricians detonated the explosives by command wire as Blanco's Dodge Dart passed. The explosion sent Luis Carrero Blanco and his car 20 metres into the air and over a five storey building. The car crashed down to the ground on the opposite side of a Jesuit college, landing on the second-floor balcony . Luis Carrero Blanco survived the blast but died shortly afterwards. His bodyguard and driver were killed instantly. The "electricians" shouted to stunned passers-by that there had been a gas explosion, and subsequently escaped in the confusion. ETA claimed all responsibility on 22 January 1974.

In a collective interview justifying the attack, the ETA bombers commented:

This killing was not condemned and in some cases was even applauded by the Spanish opposition in exile. For some Carrero Blanco's death was an instrumental step for the posterior establishment of democracy, by eliminating Franco's choice of successor. In regard to Carrero's death, the former ETA member now turned anti-nationalist author Jon Juaristi contends that ETA's goal with this particular killing was not democratization but a spiral of violence as an attempt to fully destabilize Spain, increase Franco's repression against Basque nationalism and subsequently put the average citizen in the Basque country in the situation where they would have had to accept the lesser evil in the form of ETA's reaction against Franco's unleashed repression.


  1. Sacra Némesis: Nuevas historias de nacionalistas vascos, pages 143-145, Jon Juaristi, Editorial Espasa Calpe, 1999, ISBN 84-239-7791-9

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