Basque terrorist group ETA has sent a letter to Spanish institutions and social collectives announcing it is to definitively dissolve “all of its structures,” and in which it recognizes that its historical cycle has come to an end. The aim of the missive, dated April 16, is to show that its decision is “definitive and conclusive,” according to sources from the Basque radical left, known as the abertzale. Sources from Spanish unions such as UGT have confirmed that they received the communication last week. This weekend will see ETA hold an event in the French Basque Country at which it will officially dissolve.
During its decades-long campaign for an independent Basque Country, the terrorist group killed a total of 853 people and injured hundreds more. In recent months ETA has been working on a declaration to confirm its disappearance, and was planning to do so around the end of May or the first half of June, as EL PAÍS exclusively revealed several weeks ago.
The conflict did not start with ETA and will not terminate with the end of the journey of ETA
In the April 16 letter, to which Spanish news agency EFE has had access, ETA states that it has “completely dissolved all of its structures and has terminated its political initiatives.” The communication, it added, brought an end to the process “started in 2010, with the intention of starting a new political cycle in the Basque Country.”
The group adds, however, that the end of ETA does not “outweigh” the “conflict” with France and Spain. “The conflict did not start with ETA and will not terminate with the end of the journey of ETA,” the letter states, also recognizing “the suffering caused as a consequence of the struggle.” In another letter, dated April 21, ETA asked for “forgiveness” for the “excessive suffering” it caused, albeit only to part of the victims, those it defined as “citizens without responsibility in the conflict.”
In the April 16 letter, ETA states that the Basque Country is now faced with “a new opportunity to definitively close the cycle of conflict and build a future between us all,” and it calls for mistakes not to be repeated nor for “problems to rot.”
With “complete humility,” the ETA letter calls for recipients to sign up to the end of the conflict, because “the future is the responsibility of us all.”
English version by Simon Hunter.