Following the Social Forum to promote the peace process, held last 14th and 15th March the organizers, having heard the opinions of international experts and analysed the social contributions received, wish to propose the following recommendations to promote the peace process:
a) Reach minimum consensus on addressing the main challenges of the peace process
1. – We recommend an exercise of dialogue and reconciliation that would seek to establish to establish a solid basis for future coexistence through a wide-ranging and active engagement of institutions, political parties and civil society. In particular, we recommend that these groups should work to reach consensus that will contribute to addressing the main challenges of the peace process: disarmament, dismantling ETA’s military, reintegration of prisoners and people on the run, the safeguarding of Human Rights, as well as dealing with everything that happened in the past and establishing a basis for coexistence in the future.
b) Design, develop and implement a process of dismantling and disarmament
2. – In order to ensure safety for all citizens, and as an essential part of the peace process, we recommend designing a controlled, ordered and agreed process that will conclude with the disarmament of ETA and the dismantling of its military structures.
3. – We recommend that this process, to be carried out in a reasonable timescale, should be able to call on international independent facilitator bodies, with the aim of providing security to the states and its institutions and to the general public.
c) Facilitate the integration of prisoners and people “on the run”
4. – We recommend that a consensus is found on a comprehensive solution to the issue of prisoners and people “on the run”. This is essential to building a stable and lasting coexistence. To do this, we consider it necessary to adapt the law to the new reality and implement a transitional justice that helps society to consolidate coexistence. At the same time, and as a starting point, aspects of the prison policy that contravene human rights or that go against the humanitarian treatment of prisoners must be modified, eliminating exceptional prison policy measures that oppose the international standards. In particular, the situation of those who are seriously ill, the refusal to allow the release of prisoners who have served their sentence, and the dispersion of prisoners, which punishes their families.
5. – We recommend that the process of reintegration be done through legal channels, accepting that it – being comprehensive – may take place in an individualised and staggered manner. This process requires that prisoners show their commitment to the new scenario of peace and renounce violent means. Furthermore, as the case may be, there should be recognition on their part of the harm done as a result of their actions.
6. – We recommend that prisoners be active agents of the process of peace and normalization. Therefore, it is important to facilitate contacts and the exchange of opinions between prisoners and Basque society and the competent institutions, in order to promote coexistence for a future in which no type of violence takes place.
7. – We recommend examining the situation of people on the run, exploring ways for their integration into society and providing solutions for them.
d) Promote and safeguard Human Rights
8. – We recommend implementing the necessary legislative reforms to guarantee that all Human Rights and democratic freedoms are fully safeguarded, setting up the necessary mechanisms for that. As a first step, an independent body must assess the current human rights situation.
9. – We recommend establishing the principle that there cannot be room for impunity. Not only is it outside the international legal order, but it would also go against the principles of truth, justice and reparation and of the rights of victims. Nevertheless, international standards do allow the implementation of justice that takes the context of a peace process into consideration.
10. – We recommend redimensioning the number and function of State security forces and bodies to adapt them to the new reality. Mechanisms to control the security forces and bodies of security by institutions and civil society also need to be strengthened.
e) Preserve truth and memory to deal with the past honestly and establish the basis for future coexistence
11. – We recommend that the institutions promote a broad process of truth, justice and reconciliation of a comprehensive nature that will include society as a whole. The aim is to create the ingredients for future coexistence based on respect and acknowledgement of others. To this end it is necessary to address what happened in the past, to recognize and provide reparation for all the victims and recognize all the harm done. Furthermore, we understand that a mechanism for Truth and Reconciliation, promoted and supported by the institutions and independent, and where civil society has a main role, is a useful tool capable of dealing with all this.
12. – We recommend facilitating different ways of narrating and remembering what happened, encouraging self-criticism in every social and political sector and an honest exercise of recognition of the serious mistakes made. In this way, it is necessary to create an official database that is public and complete, of all victims and Human Rights’ violations, in order to preserve the memory of what happened in the past before it is lost or becomes blurred.
Finally, we consider that all the actions referred to in this document should be compatible with respect for the rights to the truth, justice and reparation applicable to all victims.