Tamed "Tigress" expelled from official ETA prisoner group

Inmates who have rejected violence have disappeared from terrorist group's list

ETA's deadliest terrorist, Idoia López Riaño, "La Tigresa" (The Tigress) - who is serving time in the Basque prison of Nanclares de Oca for the murder of 23 people - has been expelled from the official association of ETA prisoners following her rejection of violence.

La Tigresa's name was one of those of around 20 other dissident inmates left off the organization's latest list of its members, dated November 21. Her boyfriend Joseba Arizmendi, who is also imprisoned in Nanclares de Oca, was likewise omitted from the list.

It was in summer 2010 that La Tigresa signed the document that the Interior Ministry requires of ETA members wanting to avail themselves of individualized measures that allow them to move up a grade, apply for prison benefits and be moved to facilities closer to or inside the Basque region. The law demands that terrorist prisoners apologize to their victims, reject violence and accept economic damages for victims.

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Her expulsion comes over 18 months after her transfer to Nanclares de Oca, one month after ETA announced the "definitive" end of its violent struggle and a week after the ETA prisoner association announced, via the newspaper Gara, that sick prisoners and those who can request their freedom under parole measures should begin to do so individually. The move provides yet further proof of the association's rejection of the Nanclares route and of those prisoners who have individually decided to take refuge in the measures.

One by one, all the dissident prisoners in Nanclares have disappeared from ETA's official list of its prisoners at various moments. Only one inmate in the jail remains on the list - Txus Martín Hernando, who is in the Basque Country not as a result of rejecting violence, but because of health issues.

Known for her green eyes, curly hair and 180-centimeter stature, López Riaño, 47, joined ETA in 1984. A cold and calculating woman, her 23 victims make her the terrorist group's most prolific killer. Among her most atrocious attacks was the car bomb planted in Madrid's Plaza de la República Dominicana in 1986, which killed 12 civil guards. She was arrested in France in 1994 and extradited to Spain in May 2001.

At her 2002 trial, where she was sentenced to over 2,000 years in prison, she spat out to the court: "While you persist in thinking that we are going to assimilate into this monstrosity of a state, we will go on fighting until you leave Euskal Herria [the Basque homeland] in peace."

She met Arizmendi, 39, in 2006 while both were serving time in prison in Badajoz.

Idoia López Riaño in an archive courtroom image.
Idoia López Riaño in an archive courtroom image.
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