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  HOME PAGE 07/12/2021 11:37 
18.10.2021 18:42 News >> Basque Separatist Leaders Express Remorse Over ETA Violence

Basque Separatist Leaders Express Remorse Over ETA Violence

ETA terror group’s violent campaign killed over 820 people, injured thousands more from 1968 to 2010.

Basque separatist politicians on Monday expressed "sorrow and pain" over the violence perpetrated by the ETA terror group in its quest for independence from Spain.
From 1968 to 2010, ETA killed 829 people and injured thousands more in its fight for an independent Basque Country.
"It never should have happened … nobody could be satisfied with everything that occurred, nor with it going on for so long. We should have managed to reach Aiete (the 2011 peace conference) earlier," said a statement, which was read in Spanish by Arnaldo Otegi and in Basque by Arkaitz Rodríguez, marking the 10th anniversary of the official end of ETA's violence.
Both politicians were imprisoned in Spain for their roles in ETA, although the European Court of Human Rights later ruled that the trial that put them behind bars for years was neither fair nor impartial.
Otegi is currently the leader of the Basque separatist party EH Bildu, while Rodríguez heads the once-outlawed Sortu party.
"Unfortunately, the past cannot be remedied, nothing we say can undo the damage. But we are convinced that it is at least possible to alleviate it through respect, consideration and remembrance. We want to tell you from our heart that we deeply regret your suffering and we commit to trying to mitigate it to the best of our ability," the statement added.
On Oct. 20, 2011, ETA announced the "definitive cessation of its armed activity" after the Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference. In 2018, it announced its full political dissolution.
Monday's statement said that the decision to end ETA's violence is "an immovable decision and forever" and that it has fully been complied with over the last 10 years.

They also called on Spanish authorities to bring ETA prisoners, many of whom have been sent to prisons hundreds of kilometers away from home, back to the Basque Country.
While some consider this statement a step forward for reconciliation in the Basque Country, which is still divided by ETA's legacy, others slammed it for its tepidity.
"Otegi is not a man of peace, he's a terrorist. ETA was defeated by Spanish police and the judiciary, not by a Socialist-led peace process," Pablo Casado, leader of Spain's Popular Party, told Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser.
In a Twitter thread, Spain's Association for Victims of Terrorism said the speeches did not go far enough.
"They should ask for forgiveness for representing murderers, they should get ETA members to collaborate with the justice system to solve unsolved crimes… there's still a lot of work to do before we can say this is over." -



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