The Basque Government recognizes 86 ETA victims of unsolved cases between 1968 and 1979



EITB Media

“We cannot give you life back, but we can restore your dignity,” said the Minister of Justice, Beatriz Artolazabal, in a ceremony held in Bilbao, attended by 20 relatives of these victims.


Relatives of ETA victims.  Image: EITB Media

The Basque Government has delivered this Friday the Notebooks of Memory and Recognition to 86 victims of ETA of unsolved cases. In this phase, the victims of between 1968 and 1979.

Of those 86 people, 85 were men and a woman. Regarding territories, 39 were from Bizkaia, 38 from Gipuzkoa Y 9 from Álava.

The ceremony was chaired by the Basque Government Minister for Equality, Justice, Social Policies, Beatriz Artolazabal, which has also had the participation of about twenty families who have come on behalf of the 86 completed notebooks, a representative of the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT), and the Deputy Minister for Human Rights, Memory and Cooperation, José Antonio Rodríguez Ranz.

“We cannot give you life back, but we can restore your dignity,” said the Minister of Justice, Beatriz Artolazabal, in a ceremony held in Bilbao, attended by 20 relatives of these victims.

The notebooks, prepared by the Basque Government, in collaboration with the Victims of Terrorism Association (AVT), include a document from the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, in which “the injustice” of each murder is highlighted and “an institutional recognition” of the murder is carried out. Basque government.

“We cannot give you life back, but we can restore your dignity”

“You are not anonymous beings, concepts and entelequies that ETA wanted to erase from the face of this country. You are people of flesh and blood. We cannot give your life back, but we can restore your dignity,” Artolazabal stated.

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The Library of the University of Deusto, in Bilbao, has been the scene this Friday afternoon of the ceremony of delivery of the Notebooks of Memory and Recognition.

Before the event began, a minute of silence was observed in memory of all the victims, moments after Beatriz Artolazabal recalled that Luis Santos Hernández and Argimiro García Estévez were also assassinated on December 17, both in 1974 and in Arrasate, and Diego Fernández-Montes, in 1978 in San Sebastián-Donostia.

The 86 Memory and Recognition Notebooks collect in a dossier who the ETA victims were, how they lived and how they died between 1968 and 1979, as well as various graphic material provided by relatives with the help of AVT.

Artolazabal has affirmed that the Notebooks are “a contribution to the right to the truth” of the victims in unresolved or incomplete clarification cases. “You deserve a truth with capital letters, without adjectives”, he has transmitted to them.

Along these lines, he stressed that the three objectives of this initiative are to “keep alive” the memory of these murdered, accompany the families and reaffirm their “firm commitment to the victims of terrorism.”

“You deserve a truth with capital letters, without adjectives”

The counselor has listed each of the localities where the victims were murdered, as part of “an imaginary map that never” should have been drawn. “In these municipalities, your husbands, parents, brothers and sisters, brothers-in-law, friends were unfairly murdered and unpunished,” he stressed.

For this reason, he has criticized the “barbarism and unreason” of ETA in the last years of the dictatorship and the first years of democracy. “We want to remember you for what you were: waiters, justices of the peace, commercials, civil guards, national police, municipal police, taxi drivers, journalists, etc,” he said.

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After an aurresku and the family photo, the second part of the act was carried out, which had the testimonies of three families. With the journalist Sonia Hernando as the host of the entire event, the following have participated in the talk-colloquium: José María García, son of Argimiro García, murdered on December 17, 1974; Rosa Vadillo Uranga, widow of Epifanio Benito Vidal Vázquez, murdered on October 25, 1978; and Eulalia Rodríguez, widow of Jesús María Colomo Rodríguez, murdered on July 21, 1979.

The dancers of Beti Jai Alai Dantza Taldea Jon de la Hera and Alazne Zabala have danced the aurresku, while their musicians Jose Bixente Arriola and Javi Mugerza have interpreted the Agur Jaunak during the minute of silence.

For its part, the string trio Euterpe has performed different musical pieces throughout the act such as El Oboe de Gabriel, by Ennio Morricone, at the beginning of the event; and Canon de Pachelbel; Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen; Air de Bach and Cavallería rusticana, by Pietro Mascagni, at the time of delivery of the Notebooks. The event concluded with his interpretation of the song ‘Viva la vida’, by Cold Play.

Urkullu highlights that the Memory Notebooks show the Basque Government’s commitment to “the right to the truth”

The Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, explained that the act of delivery of the Memory and Recognition Notebooks is part of the Basque Government’s commitment to the “right to the truth” of the victims.

Urkullu has responded this Friday, in the control plenary session of the Basque Parliament, to a question from Vox regarding the crimes of ETA still unsolved. In his response, the Lehendakari has recognized the right to truth and justice of those affected by terrorism, although he recalled that reparation for victims through “material justice” is something that exceeds the competence of the Government. Basque.

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In the case of memory notebooks that have been delivered this Friday, he recalled that have been prepared in collaboration with the Association of Victims of Terrorism. These documents, as highlighted, include “an express recognition of injustice and nonsense” of the violence suffered by the people to whom each of the notebooks refers.

Urkullu has explained that with the ceremony of delivery of these documents it is intended to solemnize an “ethical and human recognition” to the victims. In addition, it has announced that, apart from this initiative, the Basque Government will continue working to record that ETA crimes were “an injustice that should never have occurred.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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