The Puerto Hurraco massacre was a mass
murder that occurred in Puerto Hurraco, a village in Benquerencia de
la Serena municipality in the Province of Badajoz, Spain on August 26,
1990, when brothers Antonio and Emilio Izquierdo fired at people in
the streets with two shotguns, killing nine and wounding at least six
others. The two then fled, but were arrested a couple of hours later
and eventually sentenced each to 684 years in prison,
where they died aged 72 and 74.
Reinaldo Benítez Romero, 62
Manuel Cabanillas Carrillo, 55
Antonia Cabanillas Rivero, 14
Encarnación Cabanillas Rivero, 12, sister of
Isabel Carrillo Dávila, 70
Andrés Ojeda Gallardo, 36, son-in-law of Isabel
Araceli Murillo Romero, 60
Antonia Murillo Fernández, 58
José Penco Rosales, 43
Among those wounded were: Guillermo Ojeda Sánchez,
6, Antonio Cabanillas Benítez, 24, Juan Antonio Fernández Trejo, 31,
Ángela Sánchez Murillo, 42, Felicitas Benítez Romero, 59, Vicenta
Izquierdo Sánchez, Isabel Cabanillas, and Manuel Calero Márquez.
Spain relives notorious massacre after shotgun
killer hangs himself in cell
By Anita Brooks - Independent.co.uk
April 26, 2010
Spain has relived one of its most infamous mass
murders, with the death of one of the sheep farmers behind a shooting
spree which left nine people dead in 1990.
The killings happened as the country was looking
forward to showcasing the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the World Expo
in Seville. But the small-town tragedy, in which two brothers ran amok
one summer afternoon, smacked of something out of Federico Garcia
Lorca's rural revenge play Blood Wedding.
The massacre in the southwest hamlet of Puerto
Hurraco, near Badajoz, became an embarrassing symbol of the most
bloody veins of the country's history, what Spaniards refer to as
"Black Spain". It was so gripping that in 2004 Spanish director Carlos
Saura turned it into a movie, The Seventh Day.
One of the brothers, Antonio Izquierdo, 73, hanged
himself with knotted bed sheets in his Badajoz prison cell on Sunday.
He had just served 20 years of a 344-year sentence for the nine
murders, and he had recently learned that he faced another five. His
brother Emilio, also convicted of murder, died behind bars of a heart
attack in 2006. Their sisters, who were acquitted of helping to plot
the massacre, died within a year of each other at a psychiatric
hospital, where they lived for 15 years.
The root of the blood bath? A decades-old land
dispute between the Izquierdo family and their neighbours in the
140-person hamlet of Puerto Hurraco, the Cabanillas. That dispute
blossomed into an outright feud when the mother of Antonio and Emilio
Izquierdo died in a suspicious fire at her home. The fire's cause was
never determined, but the brothers blamed the Cabanillas family. The
massacre, in which two Cabanillas children were killed, was their
First, the brothers fired their shot guns in the
village's only artery, Carrera de Puerto Hurraco, where 12-year-old
Encarna Cabanillas and 14-year-old Antonia Cabanillas, were playing. A
third sister, Maria del Carmen, narrowly escaped. She left the girls'
game just a minute before the shooting.
Then the brothers took aim indiscriminately at the
elderly villagers, who sat on folding chairs along the street,
gossiping and enjoying the scant afternoon breeze. The Izquierdo
sisters, later diagnosed with paranoid delusions, were reportedly
convinced that the entire town had sided with the Cabanillas family in
A local reporter, Jose Antonio Hernandez, recalled
the surreal scene after the shooting: "Every family with their dead:
that's what Puerto Hurraco was that afternoon," he wrote in Monday's
"From one doorway you could see two coffins,
smaller than the others, and white. Inside, two angelical girls, with
the lids closed, incessantly watched by their pained mother, whose
gaze seemed to say that the omen had been fulfilled."
A judge ruled out an insanity plea for the two
brothers based on their professional success as sheep herders and land
owners – and their bank account containing €60,000.
The Izquierdo brothers reportedly refused to repent
for their vendetta while in jail. According to the local Badajoz
newspaper Hoy, Antonio Izquierdo attended his brother's funeral
handcuffed and limping, and whispered to the grave: "Brother, you go
to heaven at age 74, but you go with the satisfaction of knowing that
your mother was avenged."
Even before the 1990 bloodbath, the feud already
claimed one life in Puerto Hurraco. A third Izquierdo brother,
Jeronimo, beat to death the uncle of the girls' uncle. That brother
was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he died nine days later.
The last time Spain relived the Puerto Hurraco
massacre was in 2004, when Mr Saura's film was released. The Izquierdo
family opposed the production, as did the surviving Cabanillas sister.
The regional government of Extremadura feared the film would destroy
the area's image as a bucolic rural haven. Villagers, meanwhile, have
braced themselves for the return of morbidly curious tourists who
flocked to the hamlet after the crime.
30-year feud led to village massacre
Phil Davison - Independent.co.uk
January 20, 1994
IT WAS a family feud, initially over land, that
began with a fatal stabbing in 1961 and ended with bodies strewn along
the main street of the western Spanish village of Puerto Hurraco
nearly 30 years later. Two brothers, Emilio and Antonio Izquierdo,
await sentencing for walking through the village on 26 August, 1990,
shooting everyone in sight. Nine people died and six were wounded.
With no death penalty in Spain, the prosecution
asked for 360 years each for the brothers, aged 62 and 59, In reality,
no one can serve more than 30 years in a Spanish jail, and the
brothers could eventually walk free if they live long enough.
Judging by the noisy and angry reaction of their
victims' relatives, in a court in the town of Badajoz, close to the
Portuguese border this week, the two men may feel safer seeing out
their days behind bars. 'Bastards, sons of bitches, hang them,' the
relatives shouted. 'Put them in the cemetery.'
The defence did not dispute the charges, but said
the men were mentally unstable through extreme paranoia, driven by a
single thought - revenge - since their mother had died in a fire in
1983. They should be placed in a mental institution, the defence
It all began in 1961 when a local peasant, Jeronimo
Izquierdo, stabbed to death a neighbour, Amadeo Cabanillas, blaming
him for attempting to take over some Izquierdo family land. Jeronimo
Izquierdo was jailed, freed in 1984, but immediately stabbed and
seriously wounded his first victim's brother, Antonio Cabanillas.
Jeronimo Izquierdo has since died.
The spark that ignited Emilio and Antonio
Izquierdo's vendetta, however, came in 1983. That was when their
mother died in a fire that was officially declared an accident but
which the brothers believed had been started by the Cabanillas family.
The brothers moved to another village and plotted their revenge.
On 26 August, 1990, they took their quick-action
hunting rifles and lay in wait in an alley until darkness fell on
Puerto Hurraco, a village of 200 people. The first they saw were
sisters Antonia and Encarna Cabanillas, aged 13 and 15, whom they
killed at point-blank range, according to the prosecution. Then they
shot dead the girls' father, Manuel Cabanillas, and wounded one of his
sons, Antonio, now crippled.
An elderly woman who went to the girls' aid was
shot dead, before the brothers strolled down the main street, shooting
indiscriminately at people drinking outside the village bar. Two
villagers who tried to flee in a car were next to die, then a man who
had taken some wounded victims to safety and returned. Finally, two
local Guardia Civil policemen were badly wounded as they drove into
the village to investigate.
In court, the older brother, grey- haired Emilio,
said: 'We'd gone out to shoot pigeons. I don't remember the rest, just
what people have told me.' His brother insisted: 'I shot only in the
air, to warn people off. If I'd known I was going to a massacre, I'd
have stayed home.' Many witnesses, however, said both men fired at
The prosecution said the killings were
premeditated, planned by the brothers since their mother's death, and
that they had been driven to the village by a sister before lurking
behind an archway off the main street.