José Francisco Hernández Herrera joined the National Police force in 1981. He was killed by ETA nine years later. At the time of his death, he was 32 years old, married and had two children, aged 12 and 8. He had nine brothers and sisters. His family first heard of his killing on the midday news on television. One of his sisters, Ángeles, was in the kitchen when she heard the journalist give the news of her brother’s death. “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 hometown, where most of them were still living. One of the trophies in the San Marcos Canarian wrestling tournament has since been named after the victim, and his photograph is displayed in the club house. The town council of his hometown also named a street in his honour.
No-one has ever been convicted of José Francisco Hernández Herrera’s murder. It is one of over 300 unsolved ETA crimes.