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The long and winding road towards an inclusive and respectful public victims’ policy

Jon Landa and I wrote this article for the Hika journal in early 2011. In it we described the history of the efforts to recognize the various victims of politically-motivated violence in the Basque Country until then. Evidently much has been done since then, but I believe this article is still a pretty good chronicle of what the initial steps were like.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article:

“Every person who lives in this country knows that there have been and still are many human rights violations and abuse, either committed by the State or by armed groups, or in the private sphere in the case of violence against women. The Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law are very clear: all of these victims have the right to truth, justice and reparation and there can be no grounds for any kind of distinction due to political conviction or other reasons the victim or the perpetrator may have.

However, political praxis in our country has generated all kinds of distinctions that have generated asymmetries and clear comparative grievances. If we speak of politically-motivated violence and therefore we leave out of our analysis what happens in the private sphere, we see that there is a legislation on historical memory that recognizes certain rights -but not others- to certain victims but not to others (for example in the case of people killed by shots or anti-riot rubber ball impacts while leaning on the balcony at home when there was a demonstration would in principle not benefit from this law, as in the cases at Erandio, Rentería and lruña…)”.

It is my intention to translate all of my articles in due course. Once I have fully translated this one, I shall be publishing its translation here. In the meantime, the full article can be read in its original version in Spanish in the link below.

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