The Grapo attack in Zaragoza that brought bulletproof vests for the vigilantes

The fatal attack by Grapo against a Prosegur van, which cost the life of the sworn watchman Manuel Escuderfrom 29 years old, he changed some things for the private security sector.

The terrorists placed the bomb on April 7, 1993 under the Prosegur vanwho had just collected the money from the Galleries First supermarket located in the Plaza de las Madres de Mayo, in the Delicias neighborhood. That attack caused security professionals to carry since then bulletproof vests to counter terrorist attacks.

This is how the watchman told it Antonio Henar to HERALDO on the 25th anniversary of the attack in 2018. “Back then we carried a regulation revolver and a shotgun, but In the assembly that we held after the attack we managed to get the vests put on us, even if they were very uncomfortable”, evoked. Likewise, he recalled that at that meeting a union said that the attack on the Plaza de las Madres de Mayo had been an accident, which caused the workers to resign from it.

Another consequence for the vigilantes who covered those routes was the modification of many routes and schedules so as not to facilitate the assaults. Work began with greater precautions, said Henar, who stressed that until then the workers were not aware that they could be the object of such brutal attacks.

The assault behind the Principal

El Grapo wanted to eliminate us to take the moneybut when they tried behind the Teatro Principal in 1991 they did not succeed. The terrorists shot the driver and hit another guard with a toolbox, but after three or four minutes they escaped,” said Henar, who also witnessed this frustrated assault in Zaragoza.

After these attacks, some security guards from the Prosegur company abandoned their presence in the armored vehicles due to the danger involved and why they felt little recognized. “The risk was very great and the work was very hard, but the retirement age is 65 years,” said the historic watchman.

The sworn security guard died around ten o'clock at night on April 7, 1993 in front of the Galerías Primero supermarket, in the Plaza de las Madres de Mayo, in Monsalud, in the Ddelicias neighborhood.

The sworn security guard died around ten o’clock at night on April 7, 1993 in front of the Galerías Primero supermarket, in the Plaza de las Madres de Mayo, in Monsalud, in the Ddelicias neighborhood.

Silva Sande’s escape by bus with the money

The two gangs that led the robbery of the armored car, the historical Enrique Cuadra Echeandía and Fernando Silva SandeThey waited in a car to flee. They reported in the trial that they had tried to pick up their colleagues from the commando, but in reality what they caught were two sacks with eight million pesetas and they fled by different paths.

Silva Sande, described by the person who rented the flat in Zaragoza as “someone very nice” escaped -in cold blood- in a bus to Valencia the morning after the attack. The paradox is that this regular line was on Calle de Asalto, very close to the rented apartment in Roger de Tur.

Sande was a leak specialist (had escaped from Granada prison on April 1, 1992) and from Valencia managed to reach the North Station of Barcelona. There he confronted three agents of the Police Mobile Sector who carried out a routine control of the bus passengers. One of the policemen began his pursuit and, upon reaching Napoles Street, the suspect turned on the agent, drew a pistol and pointed it at him. Before the imminence of the shot, the policeman threw himself to the ground and Silva Sande disappeared through the streets of Barcelona after throwing the sacks with the stolen money. In 2009 he was tried and sentenced to 34 years in prison. That same year, this group revealed where Publio Cordón died, but the body has not yet appeared

Silva Sande guarded by two agents

Silva Sande guarded by two agents during the search operation for Publio Cordón.
J. Onion

The attack that the Grapo called “an accident”

That April 7, 1993 was Easter Wednesday and that night was hard to forget. It was around ten at night and the Prosegur guards were marked by the Grapo for the attacks committed against them in Vigo and Zaragoza. “But those terrorists were not skilled with the artifacts,” recalled this Thursday Antonio Henar, a Prosegur guard who had worked 43 years in armored vehicles and who that night went to help the comrades who suffered the explosion when they were collecting the money from the Galerías Primero shopping center in the Plaza de las Madres de Mayo, in the Monsalud neighborhood, in Delicias. “They told us that it was an attack and we arrived before the police. It was dramatic to see our deceased colleague in the vehicle and two wounded. I don’t wish what I saw on anyone,” he added.

The group Enrique Cuadra Echeandía, sentenced to 34 years for the attack, told the trial that the events that occurred that night were “an accident”. Although he proposed the direct execution of the three guards to avoid unnecessary danger, the gang decided to assault the van, neutralizing the worker who was carrying the two sacks of money. The terrorist Pedro Luis Cuadrado was in charge of intercepting the vigilante Manuel Escuder, while his partner Isabel Santamaría del Pino left an artifact remote control under armor.

The controlled vigilante, who was armed with a shotgun, collided with the third terrorist Valentín Benito, who was carrying another explosive device in his hands. As a result of the impact, the bomb fell to the ground and exploded, killing Grapo Benito. The another device also exploded and killed the terrorists Isabel Santamaría del Pino and Pedro Luis Cuadrado, as well as the security guard Manuel Escuder. The blast wave and shrapnel caused injuries to the guard at the José Antonio G. shopping center and to the two Prosegur workers who were in the vehicle, Ignacio HR and José Javier G. (the porter who carried the bags and the guard).

Manuel Escuder was 29 years old, had been working for the company for about five years and was getting married the following year. One of the injured was left paralyzed and with serious damage to his sight,” Antonio Henar narrated this Thursday. That day, the van carried eight million pesetas at the time (48,000 euros) and the fundraiser at Galerías Primero was the last thing they had to do. “The companies called that night to worry about their money, even though we had one dead and three wounded,” Henar said.

The Grapo commando that committed the attack He had been in an apartment on Roger de Tur street in Zaragoza for two weeks that Fernando Silva Sande had rented the grapo. They had tried to rob the van the day before, but when they were going to “expropriate” (as the terrorists called the robbery) they saw a police patrol and a plainclothes agent, so they suspended it until the next day, April 7, 1993. , around 9:00 p.m. Two years earlier they had perpetrated another assault on a Prosegur armored car on Verónica street. It was a frustrated attack although they managed to machine-gun the vehicle.


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