THE Cantabrian regional government will pay homage to three innocent men murdered in 1981 by Guardia Civil officers who thought they were ETA terrorists.
It comes after an initiative by Cantabria’s ‘Desmemoriadas’ social memory group to pressure the state into publicly recognising the murders after 37 years of silence.
They are also staging the event to pressure the national government into changing laws so all victims of terrorism – including at the hands of state police – get justice.
The brother of Juan Mañas – one of the murdered men – said it is “very important” the regional parliament is hosting the act given the state has ignored the killings.
The three men – 33-year-old Luis Montero from Salamanca, 29-year-old Luis Cobo from Santander and 24-year-old Juan Mañas Morales from Almeria – were travelling to Almeria for a family communion.
Commuters on the same motorway mistook men for ETA terrorists responsible for seriously injuring a military general and killing four soldiers.
They alerted the Guardia Civil who traced the men to Roquetas del Mar, Almeria.
And hours later, their bodies were found burnt, dismembered and with multiple gun wounds in their rental car on top of a cliff.
Spanish authorities allegedly tried to cover up the murder and frame the victims as terrorists in the wake of the shocking incident.
The implicated Guardia Civil agents said the men were at fault for their deaths because they fled.
A lawyer was eventually able to uncover the truth and it led to three of the eleven officers being jailed for torture and murder.
But the controversial case was dogged by alleged irregularities.
The killers only served parts of their sentences and served their time in military centres instead of ordinary jails.
The regional parliament said Cantabrians should attend the homage to show their “pain and respect” for the families of the murdered men.
The memorial will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 7.30pm outside the Cantabria Parliament building in Santander.