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The Most Excellent
The Duke of Carrero Blanco
Luis Carrero Blanco.jpg
69th President of the Government of Spain

In office
9 June 1973 – 20 December 1973
Vice President Torcuato Fernández-Miranda
Preceded by Francisco Franco
Succeeded by Torcuato Fernández-Miranda
First Vice President of the Government

In office
1967 – 9 June 1973
Preceded by Agustín Muñoz Grandes
Succeeded by Torcuato Fernández-Miranda
Personal details
Born Luis Carrero Blanco
(1904-03-04)4 March 1904
Santoña, Cantabria, Spain
Died 20 December 1973(1973-12-20) (aged 69)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party Movimiento Nacional
Spouse(s) María del Carmen Pichot y Villa (1909-1984)
Religion Roman Catholicism
Military service
Allegiance Spain
Service/branch Navy
Years of service 1918 - 1973
Rank Admiral
Battles/wars Rif War
Spanish Civil War

Don Luis Carrero Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero Blanco, Grandee of Spain (4 March 1904 – 20 December 1973) was a Spanish admiral and long-time confidant of dictator Francisco Franco. He was assassinated by members of the group ETA.


Luis Carrero Blanco entered the Escuela Naval Militar, the Spanish naval academy, in 1918 and participated in the Rif War of 1924–1926.

In 1929 he married María del Carmen Pichot y Villa (d.1984), by whom he had five children.[1]

In July 1936, when the Spanish Civil War erupted, Carrero Blanco found himself behind the coalescing Republican line. Taking refuge in the embassy of Mexico and later that of France, he was able to sneak across the front and reach the Nationalist side in June 1937. Carrero Blanco then served in the Nationalist navy. After the Nationalist victory and subsequent installation of Generalísimo Francisco Franco as military dictator (Caudillo) of Spain, Carrero Blanco became one of his closest collaborators as well as chief of naval operations. He was said to be in opposition to Spain entering World War II on the side of the Axis powers, a notably different political position compared to some other Falangists. Carrero Blanco himself was a monarchist. Devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, he was close to Opus Dei.

With the infusion of American capital in the 1950s, the Franco regime's Falangist policies were liberalized, without relaxing authoritarian control. The Falange syndicalists resisted the economic opening of the regime to capitalistic influences, while the technocrats of Opus Dei "de-emphasized the role of the syndicates and favored increased competition as a means of achieving rapid economic growth. The technocrats prevailed, and members of Opus Dei assumed significant posts in Franco's 1957 cabinet" (U.S. Library of Congress). Carrero Blanco, without explicitly supporting political liberalization, aspired to economic integration with European markets. Carrero Blanco became a minister in Franco's regime in 1957.

Carrero Blanco was made vice-admiral (1963) and admiral in 1966; he held the post of vice-president of the state council from 1967 to 1973.

His political career reached its zenith on 8 June 1973 upon being named the Prime Minister of Spain and made a top deputy to Franco. It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before he would succeed the ailing dictator.


Placa Carrero Blanco

Memorial plaque at the place of the assassination of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco.

Within about six months of being named prime minister, Carrero Blanco was assassinated on 20 December 1973 in Madrid by four Basque members of ETA, who carried out a bombing while he returned from Mass in a Dodge 3700. Since Carrero Blanco could have become the most powerful figure in Spain upon Franco's passing, his death was perhaps instrumental in the transition toward a democratic government in that country.

In a collective interview justifying the attack, the ETA bombers said:

"The execution in itself had an order and some clear objectives. From the beginning of 1951 Carrero Blanco practically occupied the government headquarters in the regime. Carrero Blanco symbolized better than anyone else the figure of "pure Francoism" and without totally linking himself to any of the Francoist tendencies, he covertly attempted to push Opus Dei into power. A man without scruples conscientiously mounted his own State within the State: he created a network of informers within the Ministries, in the Army, in the Falange, and also in Opus Dei. His police managed to put themselves into all the Francoist apparatus. Thus he made himself the key element of the system and a fundamental piece of the oligarchy's political game. On the other hand, he came to be irreplaceable for his experience and capacity to manoeuvre and because nobody managed as he did to maintain the internal equilibrium of Francoism." —Julen Agirre, Operation Ogro: The Execution of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco[2]

In his first speech to the Cortes on 12 February 1974, Carrero Blanco's successor, the new prime minister Carlos Arias Navarro, promised liberalizing reforms including the right to form political associations. Though he was denounced by hardliners within the regime, the transition had begun.


One of the members of the ETA cell who had assassinated Carrero Blanco was himself assassinated by a car bomb in the south of France on 21 December 1978 by a Spanish far-right group organized from inside the Navy (including one member of the CESID secret service, another one of the Servicio de Inteligencia Naval and the other belonging to the Alto Estado Mayor), which received assistance from former OAS member Jean-Pierre Cherid, former Triple A Argentine member José María Boccardo and Italian neofascist Mario Ricci, member of Avanguardia Nazionale. Argala, as the ETA member was known, was the only one who could identify the mysterious man who handed up to ETA Carrero Blanco's schedule and itinerary. According to Leonidas, a former member of the Spanish Army who participated to the bombing against Argala, "The explosives came from a US base. I don't remember with exactitude if it was from Torrejón or Rota, but I do know that the Americans did not know what for they would be used. It was a personal favor they made to Pedro el Marino" (aka Pedro Martínez) who provided the explosives. Argala's assassination was claimed by the Batallón Vasco Español (BVE). However, according to Leonidas, "BVE, ATE or "Triple A" are only labels of convenience used by the same group.[3]


He and his wife had five children:

  • Doña María del Carmen Carrero-Blanco y Pichot
  • Doña Angelines Carrero-Blanco y Pichot:
    • María Schoendorff y Carrero-Blanco
  • Don Guillermo Carrero-Blanco y Pichot
  • Don Luis Carrero-Blanco y Pichot (b. Cartagena, 28 March 1930), 2nd Duke of Carrero-Blanco Grandee of Spain, married on 21 December 1960 María de las Mercedes Martín-Artajo y Saracho (b. Madrid, 9 June 1936), and had descendants:
    • Don Luis Carrero-Blanco y Martín-Artajo (b. Cádiz, 13 October 1961)
    • Don Carlos Carrero-Blanco y Martín-Artajo (b. Madrid, 28 July 1963)
    • Don Pablo Carrero-Blanco y Martín-Artajo (b. Madrid, 5 January 1967)
    • Don Alberto Carrero-Blanco y Martín-Artajo (b. Cádiz, 12 May 1968)
    • Doña Lucía Carrero-Blanco y Martín-Artajo (b. Cádiz, 4 August 1971)
  • Don José Enrique Carrero-Blanco y Pichot (b. Palma de Mallorca, 1 May 1939), married on 9 March 1969 María Victoria Martínez-Hombre Capellán (b. Oviedo, 25 May 1945), and had descendants:
    • Don Luis Carrero-Blanco Martínez (b. Cádiz, 4 January 1974)
    • Don Julio Carrero-Blanco Martínez-Hombre (b. Cádiz, 25 July 1977)
    • Don José Enrique Carrero-Blanco Martínez-Hombre (b. Cartagena, 9 June 1981)

See alsoEdit


  1. Luis Carrero Blanco, 1. duque de Carrero Blanco (Spanish)
  2. Julen Agirre, translated by Barbara Probst Solomon (1975). Operation Ogro: The Execution of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco. Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Company. ISBN 0-8129-0552-0. "La ejecución en sí tenía un alcance y unos objetivos clarísimos. A partir de 1951 Carrero ocupó prácticamente la jefatura del Gobierno en el Régimen. Carrero simbolizaba mejor que nadie la figura del «franquismo puro» y sin ligarse totalmente a ninguna de las tendencias franquistas, solapadamente trataba de empujar al Opus Dei al poder. Hombre sin escrúpulos montó concienzudamente su propio Estado dentro del Estado: creó una red de informadores dentro de los Ministerios, del Ejército, de la Falange y aún dentro del Opus Dei. Su policía logró meterse en todo el aparato franquista. Así fue convirtiéndose en el elemento clave del sistema y en una pieza fundamental del juego político de la oligarquía. Por otra parte llegó a ser insustituible por su experiencia y capacidad de maniobra y porque nadie lograba como él mantener el equilibrio interno del franquismo […]"
  3. Argala, Jose Miguel Beñaran Ordeñana


  • Julen Agirre; Operation Ogro: The Execution of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco; Quadrangle; ISBN 0-8129-0552-0
  • Tusell, Javier: "Carrero, eminencia gris del régimen de Franco" (Carrero, éminence grise of Franco´s regime), Temas de Hoy, 1993, 478 págs., [32] págs. de lám.; 23 cm, Serie: Grandes temas; 18

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Francisco Franco Bahamonde
Coat of arms of Spain (1945–1977)
President of the Government of Spain

Succeeded by
Torcuato Fernández-Miranda (acting)

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