Thursday, November 28, 2002

Here in Spain we not only have the ETA, we've also got a minor-league terrorist gang called the GRAPO. They're not nationalists like the ETA, though ETA also proclaims itself to be Marxist; they're extreme leftists, like the Baader-Meinhoffs or the Red Brigades. The last really bad thing they did was a couple of years ago when they robbed an armored car in Galicia and a couple of security guards, I believe, were killed in the shootout. Their most famous recent crime was the kidnapping of prominent Zaragoza businessman Publio Cordón a few years back; the GRAPO claims that they got the ransom money and turned Cordón loose. They've been quite insistent about it over the years, but Cordón has never turned up. I'm sure they didn't kill him; killing a kidnap victim after you've received the ransom money is very bad business. The most popular theory is that Cordón died on them in captivity of a heart attack or something along those lines. Another hypothesis is that Cordón took the opportunity to disappear after he was set free and is now living it up in Rio or Bangkok.

Anyway, the GRAPO is just about finished and a good solid nail was driven into its coffin by the Guardia Civil, who busted seven of its leaders on Tuesday in Madrid. Among the arrested were two of the three members of the command troika and several smaller fish in the propaganda, finance, and communications organizations. Good. Lock 'em up and throw away the key. One of the arrestees, María Carmen López Anguita, was released from prison in 1999. She had been sentenced to 385 years in 1979 for the murder of eight people in a Madrid coffee shop. Two of the other arrestees have also done serious time.

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