Supreme Court Orders Search for Former ETA Member in Venezuela

Former ETA militant, Iñaki de Juana Chaos, is one of Spain’s most wanted and was last seen in a Venezuelan coastal town.


El Progreso, Honduras July 26, 2016 ( – The Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ) called on the Attorney General’s Office to “search and locate” Iñaki de Juana Chaos this week, per Spain’s extradition request for the former ETA militant in 2015. 

Considered a “fugitive” by Spanish magistrates, De Juana was convicted for the murder of 25 people in 1987 for a slue of bomb attacks in Madrid during the 1980s. He served 21 years in jail before being released in 2008 following a 100 day hunger strike.

The aforementioned attacks occurred during De Juana’s time as a chief commander of the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna – Basque Homeland and Freedom) armed independence movement. The group is officially labeled a “terrorist” organization in Spain.

Last July, the Spanish government approved an extradition petition calling on Venezuela to extradite De Juana after he was reported to have been spotted in the coastal town of Chichiriviche with his partner and small child. 

This latest legal declaration action is part of an international search for De Juana, who went missing on bail in Northern Ireland in 2010 while fighting the extradition request. 

In their official sentence, the Venezuelan TSJ “urges the Public Ministry to utilize all relevant tools to carry out the search and location of citizen José Ignacio de Juana Chaos, Spanish citizen…requested by the Spanish Kingdom, for alleged crimes of aiding and abetting the public justification of terrorist acts.” 

The sentence requests that the Public Ministry follow the Venezuelan Organic Penal Process Code articles 387 and 390 which detail the South American nation’s extradition process.

However, following TSJ’s sentence, the Venezuelan Criminal Chamber declared it was “unable to resolve the admissibility of the extradition request [of De Juana]” verifying that “the said citizen is not detained in any preventive prison detention center.”

The declaration contunies, “there is no evidence that the said citizen is currently detained in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, nor that there is knowledge of his present location, which is a requisit of Organic Penal Process Code article 386 in order to process the extraditon request.”

De Juana is wanted for having “glorified terrorism” at a rally in August 2008 following his release from prison. A letter allegedly written by the former militant was read out by organisers at the political event which Spanish authorities say justified using violence to achieve political goals. De Juana vehemently denies writing the letter.