ELA considers that ETA’s decision is helping to move forward towards peace

May 11, 2018
ELA gives a positive valuation to ETA’s decision to bring an end to its existence. This decision is coherent with its previous one in October 2011, which meant the end of its armed activity. It is timely after the disarmament took place last year. And it is possible because, along with its recent statement regarding the harm caused, it will contribute to the road towards peace.

Politically motivated or caused violence that developed over decades and that we have always condemned, has tragically marked our history. We have suffered from a long and unnecessary agony that continues to affect the way we live together. It has often meant an illegitimate interference in grass-roots struggles and has seriously affected our country’s social and political life.

Today, ELA remembers all the victims and amongst them, logically, all the members of the trade union who suffered, in many different ways, from ETA’s violence. Our most emotional memory amongst many, is for those who were murdered and their families: Goikoetxea, Doral, Gómez Elosegi, Aguirre, Pedrosa, Uribe… And we should not forget the many other violations of human rights performed by paramilitary groups and the security forces, which in most cases today remain unpunished, as is the case of Zabalza, also a member of our organisation and murdered at the hands of the Guardia Civil.

With all this, we value the way in which this process has been performed, although this has been actively opposed by the Spanish State. Therefore, we would like to underscore the militant impetus by people and organisations from civil society which, particularly on a question as critical as disarmament, have helped it to become a reality.

ELA believes it is time to look towards the future and urges steps to be taken that allow a peace to be built, based not on forgetting, but rather on truth, humanity and justice. To do this:

  • ELA demands the Spanish government to bring prisoners who are imprisoned outside the Basque Country back to Basque prisons and to release sick prisoners. The grade one prison regime must stop being applied generally and unfairly.

  • ELA asks the forces represented in the Spanish Parliament to promote the legislative reforms that bring an end to the special treatment dealt out to militants and organisations. It urges life sentences to be repealed. An end should be brought to the impunity for human rights violations committed by State machinery.

  • ELA advocates a transitional justice that allows the truth about what happened in our country to be discovered. Reparation must be made to the victims. The institutions involved in the abuse must be reformed. Commissions that are correctly legitimated must be able to investigate in order to build up a comprehensive view of the suffering we have endured.

  • We urge the Basque political forces to promote constructive dialogue that allows steps to be taken towards conciliation and coexistence.

ELA considers that our people do not now need a war of accounts, where it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate between the legitimate questioning of the wish to keep politics captive, or the wish to question the adversary’s political project.

For ELA, now is a good time to remember that Euskal Herria has an enormous social and militant backing which, in a setting of consolidated peace, must be guided towards the fight for social justice and national liberation. This is our wish for the future.