José Castillo (Spanish Civil War)
José del Castillo Sáez de Tejada or José Castillo (29 June 1901, Alcalá la Real
Alcalá la Real
Alcalá la Real is a city located in the province of Jaén, Spain. According to the 2006 census , the city has a population of 22,129 inhabitants.-Geography:...

 – 12 July 1936, Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

) was a Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Police Guardia de Asalto
Guardia de Asalto
The Guardia de Asalto , usually shortened to Los Asaltos or just Asaltos, were the blue-uniformed urban police force of Spain during the Spanish Second Republic. It was the urban analogue to the green-uniformed Guardia Civil which patrolled the countryside. The Assault Guards were special police...

 (Assault Guard) lieutenant during the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

. His murder by four Falangist gunmen on July 12, 1936 led to a sequence of events that helped precipitate the Spanish Civil War.

Castillo was a member of the Union Militar Republicana Antifascista
Unión Militar Republicana Antifascista
The Unión Militar Republicana Antifascista was a self-described anti-fascist organization for military members in Spain during the Second Spanish Republic. The secret society was created in late 1935, with its membership drawn primarily from the Assault Guard...

 (UMRA), an anti-fascist organization for military members, and also worked in training the militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 of the socialist
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 youth. In April 1936, he commanded the Assault Guard unit which forcibly put down the riots that broke out at the funeral of Guardia Civil lieutenant Anastasio de los Reyes; for this, he was marked for death by the Falange. (The Guardia de Asalto were generally in favor of the Republic, the Guardia Civil more connected to what was to become the insurrectionary right-wing opposition.) At the time of his death, he had recently been married. He was killed by gunmen with revolvers who had waited for him in the afternoon hours in front of his house.

In retaliation, that night at around 3 a.m., Castillo's close friend Police Captain Fernando Condés and other police officers and leftist gunmen, went to the home of José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo was a Spanish politician prior to and during the Second Spanish Republic...

 — leader of the monarchist party and a rival of José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Duke of Primo de Rivera, 3rd Marquis of Estella , was a Spanish lawyer, nobleman, politician, and founder of the Falange Española...

 for leadership of the Spanish far right — and arrested him. Driving with Calvo Sotelo in a police car of the Assault Guard, police officer and socialist gunman Luis Cuenca shot him in the back of the neck. (According to Hugh Thomas, although Cuenca was an "intimate friend" of Condés', Condés mostly likely had no idea that Cuenca intended to kill Calvo Sotelo; as the officer with his name on the paperwork for Calvo Sotelo's arrest, Condés considered killing himself; both Condés and Cuenca were soon arrested without incident). Calvo Sotelo's dead body was given to a municipal undertaker, without informing the undertaker of who it was. Cuenca then drove to the offices of newspaper El Socialista and told them what had occurred.

Both Castillo and Calvo Sotelo were buried July 14; fighting between Assault Guard and fascist militias broke out in the streets surrounding the cemetery of Madrid, resulting in four deaths. Three days later on July 17, the army uprising began in Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

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