Liliana Acero was a domestic worker. She lived in the Entrevías district and took the train each morning to Atocha station to get to her place of work. She was originally from Ecuador and dreamed of bringing her mother to Spain, where three of her siblings and her niece were already living. On the night of 10 March, she had talked to her mother on the phone, saying: “I have very bad luck”. Her family had to wait five days before her was finally identified using DNA samples taken from her toothbrush.
11 March 2004 fell on a Thursday. Early that morning, a number of terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda planted thirteen bombs on four suburban trains covering routes running through Madrid. Ten of the bombs exploded between 7.37 and 7.39 am, when the trains were at Atocha, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia stations and alongside Calle Téllez. 191 people were killed in the attack and around 1,500 were wounded. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Spanish history. On 3 April 2004, agents from the Special Operations Group (GEO) were about to enter an apartment in Leganés where the perpetrators of the attacks were believed to be hiding when the terrorists detonated twenty kilograms of explosives in an act of collective suicide. The ensuing blast killed one of the officers, bringing the total number of people killed by the 11 March bombers to 192.