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Emilio and Antonio IZQUIERDO





Classification: Mass murderers
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 9
Date of murders: August 26, 1990
Date of birth: Emilio: 1934 / Antonio: 1938
Victims profile: Reinaldo Benítez Romero, 62 / Manuel Cabanillas Carrillo, 55 / Antonia Cabanillas Rivero, 14 / Encarnación Cabanillas Rivero, 12 / Isabel Carrillo Dávila, 70 / Andrés Ojeda Gallardo, 36 / Araceli Murillo Romero, 60 / Antonia Murillo Fernández, 58 / José Penco Rosales, 43
Method of murder: Shooting (shotguns)
Location: Puerto Hurraco, Benquerencia de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain
Status: Sentenced to 684 years in prison on January 25, 1994. Emilio died in prison on December 13, 2006. Antonio hanged himself with knotted bed sheets in his prison cell on April 25, 2010
photo gallery

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 Antonia Cabanillas

  • Isabel Carrillo Dávila, 70

  • Andrés Ojeda Gallardo, 36, son-in-law of Isabel Carrillo

  • 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 -

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 revenge.

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 the feud.

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 El Pais.

"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 -

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 argued.

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 their victims.

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.



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