- This is an article about José Castillo' whose murder helped precipitate the Spanish Civil War, not José Castillo the baseball player.
José Castillo (? – July 12, 1936) was a Spanish Police Assault Guard lieutenant during the Second Spanish Republic. 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 (UMRA), an anti-fascist organization for military members, and also worked with socialist youth. He had recently been married at the time of his death. He was killed by gunmen 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 Condes and other police officers, acting on their own initiative, went to the home of José Calvo Sotelo — leader of the right-wing monarchist party and a rival of José Antonio Primo de Rivera for leadership of the Falange Española — and arrested him. Driving with Calvo Sotelo in a police car of the Assault Guard (Guardia de Asalto), police officer Luis Cuenca shot him in the back of the neck. His dead body was given to a municipal undertaker.
Both Castillo and Calvo Sotelo were buried July 14; fighting between Police 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.