Each morning, a Civil Guard convoy consisting of a coach, a minibus and an off-road vehicle took seventy officers, aged between 18 and 25, from the Traffic School on Calle Príncipe de Vergara to the motorcycle practice ground in Venta de la Rubia, on the outskirts of Madrid. On the morning of 14 June 1986, ETA terrorists planted a van containing 35 kilograms of explosives and various kilograms of shrapnel in Plaza de la República Dominicana. They detonated the explosives as the Civil Guard convoy was passing Number 7. Twelve civil guards were killed and a further 78 people (including officers and passers-by) were injured by the huge blast.
Jesús María Freixes Montes was originally from Lérida, where his father was an independent councillor on the local council. His colleagues called him ‘El Lleida’ because of his support for the Catalan spirit and language. “Terrorism doesn’t just affect the Basque Country, it doesn’t just affect the place where the bomb goes off; it can affect all of us and it is a very serious problem… If we don’t start to realise that, then terrorism will not go away”, said Jesús María’s sister at the time.