A woman using her sexual magnetism to lure police officers and killing their colleagues all for a terrorist group that has killed over 800 people. 


Basque has been trying to separate from Spain for many years. This was how the terrorist organization ETA was found. ETA branched out of the Basque Nationalists Party in 1959. They were financed by performing robberies, kidnappings, and “revolutionary taxes.” In December 2006, ETA carried out a bombing at Madrid’s international airport that killed two people. Three years later, bombings also occurred in Burgos, the island of Majorca, in July 2009. The move marked the end of a half-century of violence that had claimed the lives of more than 800 people. In May 2018, ETA was officially disbanded. 

Riano Joins ETA

Riano joined ETA at age 18 in 1984. Her boyfriend, who she was with since 16, integrated her into the ETA in 1982. 

She had hoped to be a firefighter but decided to become an ETA fighter instead. In 2015, she wrote a letter to judge in which she said:

“I became involved with Eta at a very young age, full of romantic and idealistic ideas, and those who captured me knew straight away how to make me choose: ‘Would you prefer to save a few people as a firefighter or a whole town? We need committed kids like you.”

She quickly rose up in the organization and became part of the bloodiest era of the terrorist organization’s time. 

Her Murderous Actions

Idoia would sleep with police officers. In her book “The Women of ETA,” journalist Matias Antolin said, 

“One of her obsessions was seducing the police. It is said that when she was having sex with them, her greatest desire was shooting the assholes in the mouth.” 

On November 16, 1984, Idoia, with a couple others, stole a car at gunpoint and tracked down Joseph Couchout. They shot him several times and escaped. 

She quickly gained a reputation as cold and calculated. 

Her most horrific crime was the 1986 bombing in the Plaza Republica Dominicana in Madrid. She was a lieutenant. This resulted in 12 Civil Guards killed and 35 injured. One of the victims, Antonio Lancharro’s sister Manuela remembered how she and her mother, found out and what they saw when they arrived in Madrid. “When we got there, we saw the eight coffins: my brother’s and those of seven others who died on the spot.”

A year later, she would kill five more guards. 

ETA became concerned with her attitude and actions, so they banished her to Algeria. Over there, she joined another branch of the ETA and continued her crimes.


Idoia was caught in France in 1994. She went to a French prison. After that, Idoia’s appeal to stop the extradition to Spain. In 2001, Idoia was transferred to Spain, where she was tried for being a member of ETA.  

She was charged for the murder of French citizen Josep Couchot on November 16, 1984; Angel Facal Soto on February 26, 1985; policeman Máximo Antonio García Cleiter. Also, the bombing at the Dominican Republic Plaza. Idoia was also charged with the triple murder of Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Besteiro, Ricardo Sáenz de Ynestrillas, and Francisco Casillas on June 17, 1986. Lastly, the car bomb that killed five civil guards.  

Released from Prison

Idoia was sentenced to 2,000 years, but the maximum in Spain that any prisoner can lawfully serve is 30. 

In 2011, she wrote a letter to a judge where she denounced all the acts, including the murders she had committed.  

“It hurts me, absolutely all the dead people.” 

This caused ETA to excommunicate her. 

On June 13, 2017, Idoia was released from prison 23 years after she entered.

Closing Remarks

Well, what did you think? Idoia had good intentions, but doing terrorist acts was not the way to do it. I still can’t believe that she is out 23 years later, after killing 23 people. She should always be in jail. 

Manuela Lancharro echoes what a lot of people feel when she said.

“This kind of wound never heals, but knowing that they were still in jail thanks to the Parot doctrine was a small consolation. Why do they give them 3,000-year sentences if they are going to be released in less than 30 years? It doesn’t matter whether they kill one person or 12. They pay the same price. I don’t understand it, I just don’t understand it!