López de la Calle, a regular contributor to the Basque edition of the Madrid-based daily
El Mundo, was shot dead outside his home in Andoain. Though no arrests were made, Interior Ministry officials attributed the crime to the Basque separatist group ETA. López de la Calle, 63, was an outspoken critic of ETA's violent campaign for independence and had received death threats from the group in the past.
His killing came several weeks after two Spanish journalists received letter bombs, which were safely disarmed by the police, and another bomb exploded at the home of a third journalist. Officials blamed ETA for all the attacks.