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.
José Joaquín García Ruiz, aged 21, was originally from Merindad de Valdivielso (Burgos). “There was so much talk about people being killed, and then they stopped killing…. I wasn’t happy about it, to be honest” —José Joaquín’s mother told Informe Semanal—. “He said that people are killed on the roads all the time, but it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to give up driving. He said there was danger everywhere. He thought nothing would happen to him. He was really looking forward to doing something good, and he didn’t think they would kill him.”