The Spanish anarchist Lucio Urtubia is dead

“If I were born again, I would be an anarchist.” These words said Lucio Urtubia father on his deathbed. Urtubia was 19 years old. His father first worked for the Socialists, but after serving a prison sentence he joined the Communists. His father’s last words would mark young Lucio for the rest of his life.

Lucio Urtubia
Lucio Urtubia in Berlin, 2010
Sargoth/Public Domain

Urtubia was born in Navarre in 1931. During his military service he began smuggling goods between the Spanish and French borders and even raided a warehouse with colleagues. When he was discovered, he fled to France. For a long time he worked there as a bricklayer. He also sought contact with the anarchist scene in France. When he was asked to give shelter to a Maqui1anarchist resistance group during the Spanish Civil War and Francoism, his long friendship with the anarchist Quico Sabaté began.

Urtubia devoted himself above all to counterfeiting and “brought the First National City Bank to its knees,” as the Spanish online magazine Eco Republicano wrote in its obituary. “But Lucio Urtubia was not a thief, but a libertarian fighter, a link in a long chain of revolutionary fighters who used ‘money collection operations’ to support the struggling and needy.” However, his services were refused by Che Guevara, among others, who Urtubia was disappointed with.

The life of the exiled Spaniard has been the subject of numerous films, books and documentaries. Now he has died in Paris at the age of 89. The anarchist always defended his actions: “We are bricklayers, painters, electricians, we don’t need the state for anything.” Until the end of his life, he held on to his ideals.