Jean-Pierre Cherid

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Jean-Pierre Cherid (died on March 19, 1984 in Biarritz, France [1]) was a far right French activist and later mercenary of Moroccan descent. A former French paratrooper, he first became a member of the Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS) during the Algerian War (1954–1962).

Afterwards, Cherid appeared in Spain in 1976. He was one of the far-right mercenaries hired by Spanish secret services to take part in the 1976 Montejurra massacre against left-wing Carlist Party.[2][3] Since then, Cherid remained related to the members of the intelligence services belonging to the Spanish secret services and security forces that organized an illegal war against ETA in the French Basque Country, under different denominations (Antiterrorismo ETA, Batallón Vasco Español or AAA death squads) during Union of the Democratic Centre administrations.[4][5] He took part in the 1978 assassination of Argala, an etarra who had participated to the 1973 assassination of Francisco Franco's Prime minister Luis Carrero Blanco.[6][7] This time, however, no organization claimed responsibility for the killing.[7] In 1979, he led a squad that attempted unsuccessfully to murder an ETA activist, Txomin, in Biarritz. Some months later, his squad murdered another ETA activist, Enrique Álvarez, "Korta", in Bayonne.[8] On December 31, 1980, Cherid killed in Biarritz to José Martín Sagardía, member of ETA. This time, the BVE claimed responsibility for the assassination.[9]

The change of administration in Spain in 1982 did not affected his collaboration with underground dirty war efforts against ETA and therefore with the Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación, the new denomination of the death squads that operated in France during the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party administration in Spain. Cherid died on March 19, 1984 in an explosion which happened during the manipulation of explosives destined to attempt to assassinate the ETA's executive committee.[6] An authorization belonging to the Guardia Civil information services was found among his remains.[8]

In 1996, during the Spanish Parliament special commission on the dirty war, it was revealed that Cherid's family applied for a pension from the Spanish Ministry of Interior. Álvaro Martínez Sevilla, Spanish United Left senator claimed that former Spanish Interior Minister José Barrionuevo (later condemned for his implication in a kidnapping carried out by the GAL) ordered that Cherid's widow receive a life pension. Minister official denied having done so.[10]

In 2008, Cherid was accused of involvement in the 1976 disappearance of ETA activist Pertur, usually attributed to fellow members of the organization. According to the testimony of an Italian neofascist, Cherid managed a house outside Barcelona where death squads tortured kidnapped people of behalf of the Spanish intelligence services.[11]


  1. ^ 36 etarras muertos por sus propias bombas, El Mundo (Spanish)
  3. ^ Diego Carcedo (2004) (in Spanish). Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando. Madrid: Temas de Hoy. pp. 148–155. ISBN 84-8460-309-1. 
  4. ^ Diego Carcedo (2004) (in Spanish). Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando. Madrid: Temas de Hoy. p. 218. ISBN 84-8460-309-1. 
  5. ^ Spain's Dirty War Against Basque Militants, in Euskal Herria Journal, (English)
  6. ^ a b «Yo maté al asesino de Carrero Blanco», El Mundo, December 21, 2003 (Spanish) (English account of El Mundo article
  7. ^ a b Diego Carcedo (2004) (in Spanish). Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando. Madrid: Temas de Hoy. p. 217. ISBN 84-8460-309-1. 
  8. ^ a b Diego Carcedo (2004) (in Spanish). Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando. Madrid: Temas de Hoy. p. 395. ISBN 84-8460-309-1. 
  9. ^ 3.000 personas asistieron al entierro del “etarra” Sagardi, El País, January 2, 1981 (Spanish).
  10. ^ Un senador de IU dice que Barionuevo pagó la pensión a la viuda del gal Cherid, El País, January 27, 1996 (Spanish)
  11. ^ Diario Vasco. "La masía del caso 'Pertur'" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-03-26.