For Spain this is the end of an era. Separatist group Eta has formally announced it is disbanding, almost exactly 50 years after claiming its first victim.
A ceremony is set to take place later this week in the town of Cambo-les-Bains, in south-west France. But in a letter to Basque organisations, published by El Diario newspaper, the militant group writes of “a new opportunity definitively to end the cycle of conflict” and acknowledges the “suffering caused as a result of its struggle”.
While Eta’s days may be over, nearly half the killings attributed to the organisation have still not been fully investigated. There are many Basques, on both sides, who believe there are still issues to be resolved before true peace can be established.
Eta’s decades of violence
Eta, deemed a terrorist organisation by the European Union, killed more than 800 people between 1968 and 2010, the year before it announced a permanent ceasefire. In April 2017 it staged a disarmament ceremony in the south of France.
The majority of attacks took place in the Basque region of northern Spain and neighbouring Navarre.
A total of 443 civil guards and police died at Eta’s hands, according to Europa Press news agency, which reported that 58 businesspeople and 39 politicians were also among its victims.
In its letter, Eta says “years of confrontation have left deep wounds and we have to give them the chance to heal. Some are still…