July 29, 2021

Victims of terrorism remember in Vitoria "those who no longer have a voice"

Victims of terrorism remember in Vitoria "those who no longer have a voice"

Seven victims of terrorism have remembered today in Vitoria with their testimonies to "those who no longer have a voice" because they were murdered and who for years suffered the "bitter loneliness" of being a civil guard or police in Euskadi or were harassed and threatened by military in non-nationalist parties.

The Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism has organized for the first time an act to mark the Day of Remembrance, which is held on Saturday, in which Marta Buesa, daughter of the socialist politician assassinated by ETA in 2000, Fernando Buesa, has exercised as a teacher of ceremonies and has been giving way to the interventions of other victims, a civil guard and a member of Gesto por la Paz.

All of them have read the fragment of the book "Memoirs of terrorism in Spain", by the historian Raúl López Romo, in which they record their experiences narrated in the first person, just as they wrote when they collaborated with the publication.

There have been very emotional moments like, for example, when the current president of the AVT, Maite de Araluce, has confessed that she would like "to be able to remember how her father smelled", Juan María de Araluce, riddled with bullets by three ETA members in 1976, when he was president of the Diputación de Gipuzkoa.

She also recalled that her mother asked her and her brothers to pray for their father, for the other four people who had died and for their murderers, for being "those who are most needed."

"My father was not part of any side, of any war or of any conflict," said Araluce, who believes that victims currently live "complicated times" because they are "daily humiliated by those who cheat terrorists" and because they have been "betrayed" by the institutions, which "have been put aside".

The silence of the room has also become more intense with the testimony of the son of Liborio Angulo, an Alonsotegi farmer killed by a bomb of the Spanish Basque Battalion in 1980 (which has been read by the journalist Gorka Angulo), recalling that In her mother's mailbox came notes from the nationalist left that said: "The others have killed your husband, but we are going to kill your children for being ertzainas".

The emotion has also been very present when Mari Carmen Hernández, widow of PP councilor in Durango Jesus Mari Pedrosa, killed by ETA in 2000, has related the "terrible harassment" suffered for years. After the death of her husband she vowed to be strong for her daughters, sought professional help and asked for strength from God. "Forgive help", he assured.

The socialist councilor in Zarautz Gloria Vázquez has spoken that how after being elected for the first time in 2007, she and her husband (also mayor) had to live for years with escorts – "good people", he said – to whom their children They saw them as "friends" of the family, although as they grew older, they found it uncomfortable for them to accompany them everywhere.

"Today my children are proud that their mother resisted," he said, adding: "I was infinitely freer than those who were silent because of fear."

José Alfonso Romero, civil guard assigned in Euskadi in the so-called "years of lead", has related the fear of being a victim of an attack, the "distance" with a Basque society indifferent to their situation and the "bad faces and looks" of those who participate in the harassment.

Lucía Cristóbal has given voice to the part of Basque society that, within Gesto por la Paz, rebelled against ETA, approached the victims – who have given her "authentic life lessons" – and went out to the street to ask in silence after a banner the end of violence. "It is up to us to defend the memory of those who are not, because our voice should be that of the absent," he said.

Marta Buesa has warned of falling into "the temptation of oblivion" because "the memory of the victims is an essential element for the ethical, social and political delegitimization of terrorism." "Memory is the best service we can provide for those who are not with us," he said.

The act concluded with the reading of a poem by Víctor Urrutia in charge of Begoña Elorza, the mother of the ertzaina who escorted Buesa when a car bomb exploded that killed both of them.

It has had a large institutional presence, although no representative of EH Bildu has attended. Yes, the Secretary of Human Rights, Coexistence and Cooperation of the Basque Government, Jonan Fernández; the delegate of the Government, Jesús Loza; the deputy general of Álava, Ramiro González, and the mayor of Vitoria, Gorka Urtaran, among others.


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