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Basque separatists to officially dissolve at peace conference

Basque separatists to officially dissolve at peace conference

The document was published a day before an global conference in the Basque-French city of Cambo-les-Bains to ratify the farewell to arms of an organization founded in 1959, during the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939-1975).

More than half a century after it was founded, the Basque separatist organization ETA today announced its official dismantling as an armed group that defended the creation of an independent state in northern Spain. "The whole ETA project was a resounding and complete failure", he said.

"ETA wishes to end a cycle of the conflict between the Basque Country and the Spanish and French states", it said.

"ETA has completely dissolved all of its structures and declared an end to its political initiative", it said.

It signaled it had completely dismantled in a letter published by the Spanish online newspaper El Diario on Wednesday.

"No matter what ETA does, there is no room for impunity for its crimes". "ETA can announce its disappearance, but its crimes or the action of the judiciary won't disappear".

Regional government head Inigo Urkullu said the organization had inflicted pain and suffering on the people of the Basque Country, adding he doubted it would have more than four or five lines in history books in the future.




"I don't believe in the end of ETA because there are lots of deaths that haven't come to light, lots of murders that have never been cleared up, lots of victims who have not been compensated", said Carmen, an economist who lives in the Basque city of San Sebastian, declining to give her surname.

"Here we have all lost". It is expected that the group's official dissolution will be announced at the peace conference this weekend. Last month, it apologized to its victims and their relatives.

Basque separatists formed ETA in 1959 in response to late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco's repression of Basques, but its violent campaign emerged in 1968 with the killing of a police officer.

Its campaign included political assassinations - most notably of Franco's chosen successor, Luis Carrero Blanco in 1973 - and bombings.

About 850 people, including police, politcians and ordinairy citizens, were killed in ETA attacks.

Attacks including a 1987 vehicle bomb at a Barcelona supermarket, which killed a pregnant woman and two children, horrified people in Spain and overseas, and effective crackdowns by Spanish and French police weakened ETA.


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