Basque separatists declare ceasefire; but the Spanish government is unmoved

UPDATED: The government is looking for a complete renunciation of past and future violence

ETA, the Basque separatist group responsible for hundreds of deaths in connection with a decades-old bombing campaign, has declared a ceasefire. In a video featuring three masked members, the organization says it “took the decision several months ago not to carry out armed actions,” and is instead putting its fate in achieving “a scenario for a democratic process.” ETA had originally declared a ceasefire it described as “permanent” in March 2006, but a bomb attack in Madrid nine months later signalled its apparent end. The group’s last deadly attack dates back to July 2009, when two police officers were killed in a bomb explosion on the island of Majorca.

UPDATE: The Spanish government has called the ceasefire insufficient, stating that the ETA’s word means nothing in this area, as they’ve twice before declared a ceasefire and both times abandoned it. The government believes the ETA is currently in a weakened state—numerous members were arrested recently—and they will continue to pursue Basque members and do not plan on changing their anti-terrorist policy. The government will agree to talks only once the ETA renounces their past actions and “a definitive and unconditional abandonment” of future violent campaigns.

The Guardian


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.