SPAIN – Antonio Izquierdo, the younger of two brothers who shot nine people dead and seriously injured six others in Puerto Hurraco (Badajoz) in August 1990, was found hanged in his prison cell last Sunday.
Izquierdo, aged 72, had been due to leave Badajoz prison that same day but the prison authorities belatedly decided to apply Spain’s “Parot Doctrine” where remission is deducted from each consecutive sentence imposed by courts instead of from the 30-year maximum that is served in a Spanish jail.
Izquierdo took the news badly that he would spend another five years in prison following the inexplicable slaughter he carried out with his brother Emilio, then aged 62. The brothers were unmarried, living with their sisters Luciana and Angela in Puerto Hurraco, an isolated village where electricity did not arrive until the 70s or running water until ten years after.
That August evening, Emilio and Antonio set out with their shotguns and full cartridge belts saying that they were going out to shoot pigeons. Instead they went into the tiny village of Puerto Hurraco where they shot nine people, including sisters Antonia and Encarnacion Cabanillas, aged 12 and 14 respectively, and injured another six villages.
The brothers gave no coherent explanation for the massacre, although locals hinted at quarrels over boundaries and revenge for their mother’s death in an accidental fire. Many believed the sisters instigated the crime, but Angela and Luciana were both diagnosed as paranoid, spending the remainder of their lives in a psychiatric hospital where they died within 10 months of each other in 2006.
The brothers, however, were pronounced fit to stand trial and each received nine 26-year sentences for murder and six 17-year sentences for attempted murder.
Emilio died in Badajoz prison of a heart condition in December 2006 but on April 25 Antonio, refusing to face five more years in prison, hanged himself with strips torn from the bedding in his cell.