Spanish official who helped end militant ETA campaign dies


MADRID (AP) — Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, a former deputy prime minister of Spain who played a key role in ending the militant group ETA’s violent six-decade campaign for Basque independence, died Friday at 67.

The Spanish Socialist party said Rubalcaba died in a hospital two days after he suffered a stroke.

Rubalcaba was Spain’s minister for education and science in the early 1990s. After José Rodríguez Zapatero became the head of government, Rubalcaba was responsible for state security as Spain’s interior minister from 2006-2011.

He guided efforts to stop attacks by the ETA, the Basque acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom. Some ETA leaders were captured. The group’s last killing was in 2010.

In 2011, Rubalcaba was the Socialist candidate for prime minister but his party lost that year’s general election.

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This story corrects that ETA is a Basque acronym, not a Spanish one.

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