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27 Minutos: Tribute to ‘Los novios de Cádiz’, murdered by ETA in 1979

Soraya Fernández · Fotos: Fran Montes / La Dalia Films /Multimedia San Roque

27 Minutos: Tribute to ‘Los novios de Cádiz’, murdered by ETA in 1979

In 1979 Antonio Ramírez from Tarifa, and Hortensia González from San Roque, were riddled with bullets by the ETA terrorist organization. The short film ‘27 minutos’ faithfully depicts the attack

“January 6th, 1979 in Beasáin, Guipúzcoa, the feast of the Epiphany. Antonio and Hortensia received the macabre gift consisting of 18 bullets, and no one came to their aid.”

This is the synopsis of ‘27 minutos’, a short film that tells the story of Antonio Ramírez Gallardo, from Tarifa, and his girlfriend Hortensia González Ruiz, from San Roque. A couple of 24 and 20 years old respectively who, in the early morning of Three Kings’ Day 1979, were shot by ETA in a street in downtown Beasáin (Guipúzcoa).

Los Novios de Cadiz, ETA

The lovers had just left a ballroom and were on their way home when they halted their car at a STOP sign. At that moment, two terrorists gunned them down with machine guns. Antonio was shot eight times and Hortensia ten. He died on the spot, while she was taken to hospital with her life hanging by a thread. She later died.

After the shooting, the car horn sounded for 27 minutes – hence the title of the short film 27 Minutos – but no one came to their aid, despite the many people leaving the ballroom and the many living nearby.

This is the story that is reflected in this short film produced by La Dalia Films and Kinatro and directed by Fernando González Gómez. It premiered in Madrid on the 27th of May 2019.

The victim’s siblings, Diego and Aurora agreed to the short film being made to highlight the memory, dignity and justice of the couple, now sadly known as ‘Los novios de Cádiz’ (“The lovers from Cádiz”).

The work was recently presented at the San Roque International Short Film Festival (FICSAN) as a tribute to Hortensia. The audience was highly impressed by the cinematographic work. Hortensia’s siblings were also present at the event.

“I can’t get over it”

27 minutos, Los novios de Cadiz
Los novios de Cadiz: 27 Minutos

Aurora, Hortensia’s sister, admits that she still can’t get over the tragedy: “I remember my sister as if it were yesterday. She was very pretty and friendly, always laughing. Antonio was very charming too. I can’t overcome it. I remember her every day and I’m still in psychological treatment 40 years later. Now, with the short film, they had to increase the dose,” she says.

Aurora went to Madrid with her husband, who works in the Guardia Civil, along with her sister Carmen to watch the film prior to its premiere.

“They wanted our opinion. We were alone in the room with the producer. It had a great impact on me. It’s one thing to imagine what might have happened and another to see it in a film. The film reflects exactly what happened.”

For Aurora, the most difficult part was to see them in the car:

“I only saw her when she was already in the hospital, and I saw the car full of holes at the Guardia Civil headquarters, but watching it like this… it was very hard. Seeing them arrive at the STOP sign and how they were shot… One of the things that impacted me the most was the fear in the faces of the actors when they saw the terrorists pointing their guns at them. Also, seeing them hugging each other in the car. Exactly like it happened, because Antonio tried to protect my sister.”

27 minutos, ETA, Los novios de Cadiz

What was a girl from San Roque doing in the Basque Country? Aurora explains that Hortensia had gone to live with her when her husband was assigned there and went on to meet Antonio at the Civil Guard headquarters.

The story gets even harsher when you hear about the moments before the attack. Antonio and Hortensia had become engaged just a few days earlier. On the eve of Three Kings’ Day, she gave him a ring.

“Antonio was saving a gold medal to give it to her on Valentine’s Day, one that said, ‘I love you more than yesterday but less than tomorrow.’ He couldn’t wait to give it to her that day. It was as if they knew what was about to come. As they were leaving, I told her to be careful with the medal. That was the last time I saw her, saying goodbye at the door, beautiful and with her medal.”

The National High Court reopened the case in 2017 after the appearance of the weapon with which the attack was allegedly committed. Aurora still hopes justice will be made: “It will be difficult, although hope is the last thing you lose. This short film will, at least, make sure nobody forgets my sister and Antonio.”

27 Minutos: Tribute to ‘Los novios de Cádiz’, murdered by ETA in 1979

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