Wednesday, September 27

José María Aldaya, businessman kidnapped by ETA in 1995 and whose captivity motivated social protests dies

The Gipuzkoan businessman José María Aldaya, kidnapped by ETA on May 8, 1995 and released on April 14, 1996, died this Tuesday at the age of 79, as a result of an illness, as reported by the family to Efe. His kidnapping was marked by the broad support of Basque and Spanish society who demanded that ETA be released in massive demonstrations and rallies, some of which resulted in clashes provoked by radical groups, such as those that occurred on June 22, 1995. in the Paloma de la Paz in San Sebastián, where a dozen were injured, including a woman, Rosa Zarra, who died days later.

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Aldaya was kidnapped between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. on May 8, 1995, when he was driving from his parcel company Alditrans de Oiartzun to his home in the Jaizkibel urbanization of Hondarribia. The industrialist was released near the port of Azkarate in the Guipuzcoan town of Elgoibar, after 341 days in the hands of the terrorist group ETA, held in a den that was 1.90 meters high by three meters long and one meter high. wide, in which, as he himself revealed, he could only take four steps.

A lamp located in the middle of the cubicle forced him to swing his head every time he passed to avoid crashing, although, despite the harsh conditions in which he had to survive, shortly after regaining his freedom he affirmed that “life is a challenge that must be overcome every day “. The kidnapping of the businessman, during which the pacifist groups recovered the symbol of the blue ribbon already used during the kidnapping of Julio Iglesias Zamora, was condemned by all political groups -except for HB-, which came to suspend their respective electoral campaigns in support of the industrial.

During Aldaya’s captivity, numerous social mobilizations took place to demand his release, which began shortly after he was kidnapped at the initiative of the workers of his company, who every Monday gathered outside the company gates for five minutes to demand that ETA be released. from your boss.

The acts of protest against this kidnapping, during which the kidnapping of José Antonio Ortega Lara also took place, multiplied in different parts of Spain and the Basque Country, where they held everything from human chains to concerts in solidarity with Aldaya, whose sons Óscar and Idoia, held a fast and a 48-hour confinement to demand the release of the industrialist, who during his captivity was the grandfather of a girl, Mireia, daughter of his first-born Txetxo.

The secretary general of the PSE-EE, Eneko Andueza, has been among the first to react to the death of the businessman and has left this message on his Twitter account: “The kidnapping of José María Aldaya will always weigh on the conscience of those who perpetrated such ignominy. Faced with them, the social awakening of the citizen response and the dignity of a society fed up with ETA. A big hug to his family. ” Minutes later, the general deputy of Gipuzkoa, Markel Olano, who in the same social network said that Aldaya was “one of the greatest examples of ETA suffering” in the Basque Country. In addition, Olano has conveyed his condolences to family and friends on behalf of the entire territory to whom he has also sent the “most effusive” of his hugs. “” Rest in peace, “adds his tweet.