12-18 June 2012
Victims of different forms of violence reflect together.
Swiss Parliamentarians support the Declaration of Aiete.
Basque citizens, who had been tried for their political activity, acquitted.


Victims of different forms of violence reflect together

Victims of different expressions of violence in the armed conflict in the Basque Country appeared together this past weekend to make known the Glencree initiative. This initiative has brought together victims of ETA, the dirty war and police violence.

The name they have given to this dynamic makes reference to the Irish town where the first meeting took place around 2007. The message was read by the sister of a victim of the GAL and the widow of a Popular Party councilor.

The initiative was promoted in the beginning under the direction of the Victims of Terrorism for the Basque Government, after which a technical group was created, which has guided the reunions. From that point on the initiative took on a life of its own and it has been the victims themselves who have made the decisions.

The reunions of this group of people have developed in a discreet manner and without public notoriety in order to avoid political or media manipulations that they considered inevitable once it became public. Due to that, the very act of presentation was at the same time its farewell.

As a testimony to these encounters they wanted to bring a message to Basque society to whom they invited to “make their own self-critical revision of the past through an unavoidable commitment to truth and justice.” They consider “desirable and necessary gestures of recognition of the damage caused and the acceptance of responsibilities of those responsible for it”. These and other reflections that these people have shared can be found in the document that was presented last Saturday.

Among those who have shared experiences and testimonies are people with diverse ideologies but who have suffered the consequences derived from the political conflict. Among those are Edurne Brouard – daughter of Santi Brouard, killed by the GAL-, Trini Cuadrado –the widow of Miguel Arbelaiz, a HB militant who died at the hands of the BVE-, Amaia Guridi – the widow of Santiago Oleaga, killed at the hands of ETA-, Patxi Elola – councillor of Zarautz and victim of numerous attacks-, Mikel Paredes – brother of Jon Paredes Manot, one of the last to be executed by firing squad by Franco-, Jaime Arrese – son of the leader of the UCD shot by ETA-, Fernando Garrido – son of the Military Governor of Gipuzkoa who was killed at the hands of ETA, together with his mother and younger brother-, Santos Santamaria – son of a Mosso d’Esquadra (Catalan police) of the same name killed in an attack by ETA-, Lourdes Zabalza – sister of Mikel Zabala, found dead in the Bidasoa river while in the hands of the Guardia Civil… Taken all together, almost thirty.

From the Abertzale Left we value this initiative as a constructive contribution which supposes a step forward in the recognition of all the victims as a consequence of the political conflict that our country suffers. Our commitment is firm, we commit to finding out the whole truth, for the recognition of all the pain caused, for the reparation of all the victims. And we will continue working on this path.


Swiss Parliamentarians support the Declaration of Aiete

39 members and ex members of the Swiss Federal Assembly have expressed their support to the Declaration of Aiete. This support was presented in the frame of an encounter about the current situation of the peace process in the Basque Country which took place in Bern.

Pierre Hazan, the member of the International Contact Group that participates in the peace process in the Basque Country, took part and spoke about the current situation and about the challenges that must be confronted after the Declaration of Aiete.

The encounter was organized by a parliamentary group that supports the peace process in the Basque Country, presided over by the MP and former Mayor of Geneva, Manuel Tornare. This group was created two years ago with the intention of helping in the political change that had begun in the Basque Country. Since then they have shown on numerous occasions to be in favour of a democratic resolution.

A delegation of the Abertzale Left also took part in the encounter and made a call to overcome the immobility that the Spanish and French governments are maintaining. They took advantage of the opportunity to thank all of the efforts that from the international level are being done with the idea of achieving a just and lasting peace in the Basque Country.


Basque citizens, who had been tried for their political activity, acquitted

11 Basque citizens who had been tried in a case opened against D3M and Askatasuna, two political lists of candidates, that weren’t allowed to be present in the Autonomous Community elections in 2009.

While we were preparing this bulletin we found out about the acquittal of the accused. In a first evaluation, Amparo Lasheras, one of the accused, described the verdict as a political success. She affirmed that we are on the right path and the political efforts that are being done are undermining the strategy that insists on repeating old formulas. In her view, this verdict cracks the stubbornness of the Spanish Courts.

From the Abertzale Left we state that acquittal was the only possible verdict, you can’t keep imprisoning Basque citizens for their political work, for presenting lists of candidates for elections.

We also view positively the mobilization of the citizens in denouncing this trial, the work done in defence of civil and political rights. Today we declare that this must be the last political trial against Basque citizens.

They have arrested us, imprisoned us and tried us for our political work. Today we reaffirm that we will continue making our political contribution in favor of a free Basque Country, for a Basque Country where the rights of everyone are respected.

With this acquittal now known, we can firmly say that the application of measures and laws of exception must end on the part of the Spanish state. A time of democratic solutions must begin. This is the change in direction that Basque society demands; taking steps for a democratic resolution. The acquittal of the members of D3M and Askatasuna is positive step; we hope that it isn’t the only one.