Spain: Rubalcaba, official who helped end militant ETA, dies

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

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

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

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

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

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