23 February 1981 Spanish Parliament attacked by Civil Guard troops

About 200 soldiers and members of the paramilitary Civil Guard stormed the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes, firing automatic weapons and shouting orders, taking hostage about 350 MPs.

The group – led by Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina, an officer of the Civil Guard – told all those present to lie down. The coup plot originated in Valencia, in eastern Spain, under the command of Lieutenant General Jaime Milan del Bosch. A supporter of the late dictator General Franco. The former commander of the elite Brunete Armoured Division near Madrid had recently been  transferred because of his opposition to the new political order and was suspected of plotting against it.

The general declared a state of emergency and ordered tanks onto the streets of Valencia.

In Madrid the rebel army took over the radio and TV stations for 90 minutes, although they dispersed when riot police arrived on the scene.



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