Times 2

The Tigress terrorist

  • ETA expels femme fatale for saying sorry that she killed 23 people
By Lee Moran

She was ETA's green-eyed femme fatale - who lured policemen into her bed before calmly gunning down their colleagues days later. But Idoia Lopez Riano, dubbed La Tigresa (The Tigress) for her legendary sexual prowess, has turned from the organisation's heroine to hate-figure - after she renounced her violence and said sorry for her crimes.

Cuffed: Idoia Lopez Riano, dubbed La Tigresa, has renounced her past violence. Pictured here at Madrid's Barajas airport following extradition to Spain in 2001

Riano, now 47 and who was locked up for 1,500 years in 2003, became one of the Basque Separatist group's leading commandos during the 1980s. She was responsible for a Madrid explosion that killed 12 Civil Guards in 1986, a car bomb that claimed five more later that year and gunned down several individual policemen and four soldiers.

There was also an attempt on the life of a high court judge. But she has now been expelled from the group after publicly condemning the use of violence, and issuing an apology to the relatives of her victims.

Her announcement has led to the Basque Political Prisoners Group (EPPK) removing her name from the roll call of ETA prisoners it distributes to its supporters. They said she was persona non grata for 'breaking with discipline'. It means Riano's family will no longer be entitled to financial support. She will now be shunned by fellow ETA inmates.

Reports from Spain also suggest that by signing the statement she has agreed to meet with the relatives of victims - in a programme of reconciliation.

Despite her fearsome reputation, Riana was said not to be able to resist seducing policemen ahead of a planned attack. Her comrades were said to have tired of her behaviour, and pensioned her off to the south of France. She was tracked down and arrested in 1994, and later extradited to Spain.

Her expulsion from the group comes a month after ETA revealed it was ceasing its 43-year-long bloody campaign for an independent Basque state in territory straddling northern Spain and south west France.
More than 825 people have been killed in the five-decade campaign. ETA is considered a terrorist organisation by Spain, the European Union and the United States.

© Daily Mail, London

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