José Lasanta Martínez joined the army in 1936 and in 1977 attained the rank of colonel in the infantry. He had also worked as an examining magistrate in Court Number 2 of the former Military Court, which specialised in terrorist crimes.
Although he had retired in 1980, he was still on ETA’s hit list ten years later. Shortly before eleven o’clock on the morning of 13 June 1990, when the former officer was walking along Paseo de La Concha, past the Londres Hotel, a terrorist killed him with a single shot to the head. He died shortly after being admitted to the Red Cross hospital in San Sebastian.