On 10 July, 1997, Blanco was kidnapped by ETA which threatened to assassinate him unless the Spanish Government started to transfer all ETA prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country within 48 hours. Hours before the ultimatum expired, one of the biggest demonstrations in Spanish history started in all major cities, demanding the freedom of Miguel Ángel. As soon as the ultimatum expired on 12 July he was shot in the back of the head. His kidnapping and brutal murder caused a huge outpouring of grief in Spain and beyond after he was found with his hands tied behind his back and two bullets in his head.
He was actually not found dead. Although he had been shot twice in the head he survived for approximately another 12 hours, but eventually succumbed to his fatal injuries.
Miguel Ángel Blanco graduated in Economics at the Euskal Herriko Unibertistatea in Sarriko (Bilbao). For a long time he worked with his father in construction, but he found work at Eman Consulting, in Eibar, where he commuted to every day by train. He also played the drums in the bands Póker and Cañaveral. He was a sports fan and his dream was to walk to Madrid to protest against the possible shutting of the Ermua' sports centre.
He joined Nuevas Generaciones of PP in 1995 and, due to it being a relatively small party in the area where the national parties compete against the PNV, he was the third candidate for the municipal elections in that year; he became member of the town's council.
He had a fiancée, Marimar, and they were engaged to be married in September of 1997.