Thursday, September 23

Lezo Urreiztieta, the “pirate” who planned to kill General Franco and wanted to create an independent Basque Country on an island in Mexico

  • Marcos Gonzalez Diaz
  • BBC News Mundo correspondent in Mexico


The extraordinary life and plans of Lezo Urreiztieta, pictured next to one of his ships, served as the basis for a documentary.

When Francisco Franco died 45 years ago, he did so after having dodged dozens of attempted attacks against him while he ruled Spain with an iron fist.

Some of those plans, many of them run by anarchist groups, are public knowledge. But others went more unnoticed.

Lezo Urreiztieta’s obsession with ending the life of the one who led that military government for almost four decades is probably as little known as it is unusual. Like most of his life.

This Basque nationalist born in 1907 dedicated himself to transferring to France, hidden in their boats, hundreds of Spanish republicans who feared being shot after the October Revolution of 1934.

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