José Francisco Hernández Herrera joined the National Police in 1981, nine years before he was murdered by ETA. Two National Police units were returning from service at the Santurce football grounds when a truck bomb parked on the side of the road was detonated remotely. It contained one hundred kilos of ammonal and two hundred kilos of shrapnel. The blast caught the second vehicle, in which José Francisco Hernández Herrera and Daniel López Tizón were travelling. Both men were killed instantly. Also seriously injured were Isidro Villalibre Torrada and Antonio Suárez Bujía.
José Francisco’s family first heard of his killing on the midday TV news. One of his sisters, Ángeles, was in the kitchen when she heard the journalist give the news of her brother’s killing. “It was two o’clock in the afternoon”, she remembers. “It was the first item on the news. I can’t remember what I did. My mother came running in. She lived next door. She had heard that something had happened, but she didn’t know what. Dad was in the bar. We sent my daughter to tell him to come home” (La Opinión de Tenerife 20/01/2011).
Over a hundred people went to Los Rodeos airport to receive the coffin bearing the mortal remains of José Francisco, the ninth person from the Canary Islands to be killed by ETA terrorism. He was buried in the cemetery at Tejina. José Francisco’s family say they felt well supported, but only in his home town, where most of them still live. One of the trophies in the San Marcos Canary Islands wrestling tournament has been named after the victim, and his photograph is displayed in the club house. The town council of his home town has also named a street in his honour.