Ignacio Ibarguchi Erostarbe and brothers Juan Manuel and Pedro Conrado Martínez Castaños —all from Vizcaya— worked as door-to-door salesmen, selling books, records and other material for learning Basque. Whenever they went to Tolosa, they would have lunch together at the Beti Jai restaurant.
On 24 June 1981, several members of the Goierri unit of ETA mistook the three young men for police officers and opened fire on them as they were about to get into their car. Juan Manuel Martínez and Ignacio Ibarguchi were killed instantly; Pedro Conrado was severely wounded and died nine months later from his injuries. ETA initially denied any involvement in the attack, but finally sent the families a note acknowledging that the triple murder had been due to “a mistake”.
Ignacio Ibarguchi was 26 years old. He was originally from Miravalles (Vizcaya) and had been brought up in a nationalist family with links to the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). He was an active member of the party’s youth wing, EGI and had helped set up the Batzoki (PNV centre) in the town. As a mark of respect, the PNV ordered that the Basque flag be flown at half mast at all its centres. Ignacio was due to be married two months after the attack.
Although the triple murder caused great upset in Tolosa, only a small group of people gathered at the scene of the attack the next day.