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Flag of the MPAIAC

The Canary Islands Independence Movement (CIIM), also known as the Movement for the Independence and Autonomy of the Canaries Archipelago (MPAIAC, from Spanish Movimiento por la Autodeterminación e Independencia del Archipiélago Canario), is a defunct independist organization that had a radio station in Algiers and resorted to violence in attempts to force the Spanish government to create an independent state in the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands Independence Movement was started by Antonio Cubillo in 1964. Based in Algeria, the MPAIAC was recognized in 1968 by the Organization of African Unity. Its armed struggle was carried out by the group's armed wing, the Fuerzas Armadas Guanches (FAG), which in 1976 bombed a mall in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In 1978 Antonio Cubillo was the victim of an attempt against his life in Algiers, organized by the francoist Spanish secret services, as a result of which he became handicapped.[1]

The CIIM's radio programmes called for the Canarian people to "go back to their roots" and tried to popularize the Berber language.[2] But its efforts were mostly unsuccessful and at its height the CIIM had no more than 100 members.[3] The flag of the movement became very popular, however, and was adopted without the stars for the pre-autonomous government.[4]

The CIIM or MPAIAC ceased activity after the Spanish government created the Autonomous Community of the Canaries Archipelago in 1982.[3] A royal pardon was granted to Antonio Cubillo and he returned to Spain.[1]

The political wing of MPAIAC was known as Canarian Workers Party, Partido de los Trabajadores Canarios (PTC). It did not manage to rule any municipality in the islands before disbanding.

Airport bombings

CIIM bombed the offices of South African Airways in Las Palmas on 3 January 1977, its first attack. CIIM terrorists bombed a florist shop in Las Palmas Airport on 27 March 1977, seriously injuring eight people. Members then threatened to explode a second bomb in the airport, forcing police to shut down air traffic while they searched for the bomb. The sudden re-routing of all flights to the Los Rodeos Airport, in addition to various other factors, was blamed for Los Rodeos disaster, the airplane crash with the highest number of fatalities to date, when two Boeing 747 airliners collided resulting in the death of 583 people.[3]

In 1979 the CIIM (MPAIAC) made a formal declaration renouncing the "armed struggle".[1]

See also




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