Monday 30 December 2013

Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco: Anatomy Of An Assassination

 Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco

A photographic look at the assassination of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) in Madrid on 20th December 1973. Blanco was the designated successor to the ailing Spanish dictator who appointed the admiral as his prime minister. His death, while provoking reprisals from the Franco regime, is nonetheless seen as a pivotal moment in the process of transition from dictatorship to democracy. (Photos are from archival sources and from the writer's collection taken during a trip to Madrid in 2011).

 The Admiral is greeted by El Caudillio
 San Francisco de Borja Church on Calle de Serrano, where Blanco unfailingly attended daily mass (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 After church his motorcade headed south along the Calle de Serrano enroute to his office on Paseo de la Castellana, a one way street (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 Approaching an intersection, the motorcade made a left at Calle de Juan Bravo which is also a one-way street (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 Then another left on Calle de Claudio Coello (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 A few yards just after Calle de Maldonado intersects with Calle de Claudio Coello, a cache of high explosives has been deposited under a marked area by E.T.A., the Basque separatist group (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 E.T.A. had dug a tunnel from a room at 104 Calle de Claudio Coello, which its operatives rented posing as sculptors. This ensured that their drilling would not arouse suspicion from neighbours and passers-by (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)
 Blanco's motorcade had to slow down at the point of the bomb because E.T.A. had double-parked a car. A line was also painted across the street on a wall to ensure that the look out could time the decisive moment to precision. 80 Kg of GOMA dynamite caused an enormous explosion 
 The explosion was powerful enough to send Blanco's car, an armoured Dodge Dart, hurtling 20 meters into the air. It cleared the 5 storey church, landing on a balcony on the opposite side. It led to opposition sniggers that Carrero Blanco was Spain's first astronaut. This picture is the recreation of the blast in Marxist filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo's movie Operacion Ogro (1978)
 A thirty-five foot hole was left at the blast site which rapidly filled with water and sewage
 Carrero Blanco lying in state
 Plaque dedicated to the late Admiral at the site of the explosion (PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)

© Adeyinka Makinde (2013)

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