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There needs to be recognition of harm, whether by ETA, the police or the GAL

This is an interview by Yuri Alvarez, from Deia, carried out in November 2011, to speak of the various pending matters in terms of human rights in the Basque Country. 

What was the origin of the initiative of reflecting in a map all of the victims the Basque Conflict has left behind?

As we are a human rights association, we wanted to document each and everyone of the cases of human rights violations and abuse that have taken place throughout these years in the Basque Country.

And you have done it, besides, stating that you do not have any political allegiances…

Our optics are not those of politics, but those of International Law. Political optics tend to reflect one part of the problem whilst it ignores the rest. We wish to document all cases of human rights violations and abuse that have taken place, wherever they come from.


Does ETA have to apologize for the 829 deaths it has caused?

International Law does not speak of apology, which is something personal. What there needs to be is recognition of harm by perpetrators, whether they belong to ETA, or are law enforcement officials or members of a parapolice hit squad.

And what does International law say about reconciliation?

It deals with truth, justice, reparation of harm and non discrimination. The problem is that in the case of State-sponsored terrorism, the GAL, it seems it is going to be difficult to get somebody to recognize such harm. Prison penalties are also being demanded for Franquist crimes when that regime now no longer exists. All of that recognition has to come by sooner or later.

What role should the victims have in the peace process?

They need to demand their rights as recognized in International Law.

This interview was published in

It is my intention to translate all my articles and interviews in due course. Once this particular one is fully translated, I shall be publishing it here. Until then, the full interview is available in Spanish in the above links.