Photo: Xabier Lopez Peña
Xabier Lopez Peña, a jailed former leader of Spanish terrorist group ETA, died Saturday in France after having been hospitalized earlier this month due to heart problems, sources with ETA prisoner-support organization Herrira said.
Lopez Peña, alias “Thierry,” was transferred on March 11 from the Fleury-Merogis Prison outside Paris to a hospital for medical care, according to the Etxerat association, which also advocates for the rights of ETA prisoners.
After experiencing complications, Lopez Peña was moved to another hospital in the French capital. He was underwent an operation the following day but subsequently suffered a stroke.
Lopez Peña was identified as ETA’s military chief at the time of his arrest in May 2008 in Bourdeaux, France.
He is believed to have ordered the December 2006 car bombing at Madrid’s Barajas airport, an attack that killed two Ecuadorians and ended a nine-month ETA cease-fire.
ETA has killed nearly 900 people since taking up arms in 1968 to seek a Basque nation comprising parts of northern Spain and southern France.