José María «Txiki» Benegas
Person - Benegas, Txiqui (1948-2015)

Benegas, Txiqui (1948-2015)




Preferred form:

Benegas, Txiqui (1948-2015)Other forms

Fechas de existencia:

Caracas (Distrito Capital, Venezuela)  1948 - Madrid (España)  2015


Spanish lawyer and politician. Benegas was an historic leader of the Basque socialism, and one of those who wrote the Basque Statute of 1979. He was born in Caracas (Venezuela), where his family had to go into exile due to the Spanish Civil War in 1936. His father was José María Benegas Echevarría, who was a writer, lawyer and member of PNV (Basque National Party). The whole family came back to Spain in 1956, concretely to San Sebastián.

Benegas studied secondary education at the Jesuits School of San Sebastián. In 1970, he graduated in Law from the University of Valladolid, and he specialized in labour aspects, balancing them with Economical studies in Bilbao during three years. Benegas finished his Economical studies in London, where he moved to learn English. When he came back to Spain in 1971, he joined UGT (General Workers Union) and PSOE (Spanish Labour Socialist Party), which was clandestine at that time.

The same year, Benegas set up a labour consultancy for workers in Errenteria, along with Ramón Jauregui and Enrique Iparaguirre, the first office of this kind in the Basque Country. Benegas was the president of the Youth Lawyers Association of San Sebastián. He was one of the arrested people at the well-known "reunion de la Calle del Segre" along with Felipe González, Nicolás Redondo, Juan Ajuriaguerra and José María Gil Robles, among others. They were examining how to join forces and collaborate with other political forces against Franco. Benegas was arrested because of some other causes and prosecuted by the Court of Public Order.

In 1974, during the XXVI Congress of PSOE held in Suresnes (Francia), which was the XIII celebrated in exile and where Felipe González was elected Secretary-General, Benegas became a member of the Executive Board along with Alfonso Guerra, Nicolás Redondo Urbieta, Pablo Castellano and Francisco Bustelo, among others. Benegas stayed on the governing body of PSOE until June 1997, when Felipe González left the secretary office of PSOE during the XXXVIII federal Congress. Moreover, Benegas was elected Youth Secretary of PSOE in Suresnes, which he balanced with the Vice-presidency of Socialist Youth International Union (IUSY), until 1975.

Throughout the 23 years in which Benegas was a member of the Executive Board of PSOE, he worked as the secretary of organization, between 1984 and 1994, and secretary of political and institutional relationships between 1994 and 1996. Benegas was a member of PSOE in the Basque Country until March 1977, when the organization became PSE or Basque Socialist Party, and Benegas was elected the secretary-general. He was re-elected on this position in the PSE Congress in 1979, 1982 and 1985. In 1988, he was replaced by Ramón Jauregui, so Benegas became the president of the party until 2003, when Jesús Eguiguren replaced him.

On the June 1977 general elections, Benegas was elected deputy for Bizkaia, joining the Socialist Parliamentarian Group at the Congress of Deputies. He was re-elected in the following Legislatures (except the third one) until the X. During the Constituent Legislature, Benegas participated actively in relevant issues, such as the production of Amnesty Law on October 1977, or the drafting of the Constitution in 1978, when he defended firmly the State of Autonomies facing Manuel Fraga Iribarne. He was also a member of the Basque Parliamentarian Assembly, which negotiated with the Government of Suárez to establish a pre-autonomous nature in the Basque Country during 1977. On 4th January 1978, the Basque General Council (CGV) was established by decree-law, which managed the pre-autonomous nature of the Basque Country. The first CGV was headed by the socialist Ramón Rubial, whereas Benegas was in charge of the Council of the Interior. The second CGV, headed by the nationalist Carlos Garaikoetxea and established on June 1979 after the municipal and regional elections, Benegas worked as the Political Councillor on behalf of PSE. He participated actively in the drafting of the Autonomous Statute of the Basque Country or "Statute of Gernika" in 1979. Moreover, Benegas was a member of the Constitutional Commission at the Congress of Deputies, which studied, discussed and approved the statuary text.

In 1980, Benegas resigned his position as deputy for Bizkaia, to be on the top of the socialist list at the Basque Parliament for Guipuzkoa, so Eduardo López Albizu (Patxi López's father) substituted him. He stayed at the Basque Parliament for two years, but he was elected for Álava on the October 1982 elections, so Enrique Casas replaced him. Finally, on March 1984 Benegas resigned the chamber, and Javier Rojo replaced him permanently. The same year he came back to the Basque Parliament where he represented the socialist group.

Benegas was a candidate of PSE to be the President of the Basque Government in the autonomous elections of November 1986. He started to negotiate in order to form Government; however, he resigned to be the President due to the failure in those negotiations. Benegas participated in the signing of the agreements of Madrid (1987) and Ajuria Enea (1988) against terrorism. In 1989, he resigned his position in Vitoria to be elected again deputy at the Courts in Madrid for Bizkaia, so Ernesto Ladrón de Guevara replaced him. From that moment he renewed his seat at the Parliament in the following general elections from 1993 to 2011. From 1989, Benegas was in charge of some relevant duties at the Congress. Finally, he died in Madrid at the age of 67.

Cortes Constituyentes, 1977-1979

Date of the event: 1977-07-13 - 1979-01-02



Profesión (Es realizada por):




(Función) Desempeña/lleva a cabo/realiza:

Diputados in  Madrid (España) between 1977 and 2015


Lugar de Residencia:

Donostia-San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa, España) between 1956 and 1970

Lugar de Residencia:

Londres (Inglaterra, Reino Unido) between 1971 and 1971

Errenteria (Gipuzkoa, España) between 1971 and 1974

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Caracas (Distrito Capital, Venezuela) in 1948

Lugar de Defunción:

Madrid (España) in 2015




es un/es una:


Related Authorities

Family relationships :

Benegas Echeverria, José María (1912-1999)  - Descendant (Es hijo/a de)

See ancestors

Castellano Cardalliaguet, Pablo (1934-)  ( Es enemigo/ está enfrentado con/ esta la oposición de )

Associative relations :

Partido Socialista Obrero Español  ( Es miembro de )

Partido Socialista Obrero Español. Comisión Ejecutiva  ( Es titular de/ es beneficiario de/ es el presidente de )

Unión General de Trabajadores (España)  ( Es miembro de )

Temporary relationships :

López Albizu, Eduardo (1931-1992)  - Earlier (Es predecesor/a de)

See successors

External Links

Catálogo de Autoridades:


Catálogo de Autoridades:


Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de España


Producer of:

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