Ten years on from ETA terrorist ceasefire in Spain (Murcia Today)

 19 Oct (Murcia Today).- The paramilitary group terrorised Spain for decades in the name of Baque Country independence.

19 Oct (Murcia Today).-

This week marks ten years since three masked terrorists belonging to ETA announced “the definitive cessation of armed activity” in the Basque Country and throughout Spain, and to honour the ocassion, nationalist party EH Bildu issued a statement to the victims, recognising their long-term pain and suffering.

What is ETA?

ETA, an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Liberty), was an armed separatist organisation that terrorised northern Spain for decades, murdering 857 people in total. Over the years the group transformed into a paramilitary faction and engaged in violent bombings, kidnappings and assasinations with the aim of establishing independence for the Basque Country.

The highest number of murders occurred during the so-called `lead years´ of the 70s and 80s, when the terrorists assasinated one person every four days. Today, four out of 10 families who are victims of ETA still do not have any official documentation detailing the name of the murderer, something which the injured parties are continuosly fighting for.

ETA expressing regret in Spain, but not apologising

While the Collective of Victims of Terrorism (Covite) believes general coordinator Arnaldo Otegi´s words represent an “appreciable leap” since the nationalist left has never before apologised to ETA victims, many others believe the party should do more to assume responsability for the atrocities.

Furthermore, with 44% of ETA crimes unsolved to this day, victims associations have called on Bildu to apologise for being the “institutional arm” of the terrorist organisation and to exert more pressure on the convicted criminals to cooperate in solving the 377 unresolved murders.

To this end, the European Parliament intends to send an investigation team to Spain in November to try and find some answers. There are currently 183 ETA inmates in Spanishprisons, while around twenty have escaped.

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