ETA Separatists Apologize for 'Pain,' 'Harm' It Caused

Nellie Chapman
April 20, 2018

A regional public broadcaster says the Basque militant group ETA is ready to announce its final dissolution early next month, putting an end to decades of violent campaign for independence from Spain.

The group announced this week that it will be officially dissolved by the beginning of May. After the dictator's death in 1975 and the transition to democracy, Eta continued killing, despite the large degree of autonomy awarded to the Basque Country region and support for Basque culture and language.

In a statement published by Basque newspapers Berria and Gara, ETA said: "We want to show our respect to the dead, the injured and the victims that ETA's actions have caused", the statement said. The organisation, which has never apologised for its bloody campaign before, recognised the "damage" caused in the course of its "armed trajectory".

"We really are sorry", the statement added. We have also caused damage that can't be undone.

"No one can change the past, but one of the most damaging things we could do now would be to try to distort or hide certain episodes".

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"It is a necessary step to accepting the truth in constructive way, closing wounds and building the guarantees to ensure this suffering doesn't happen again", said the statement.

ETA, designated a terrorist group by the US government, has been blamed for the deaths of more than 850 people since the late 1960s in its quest for an independent homeland out of territory in northern Spain and southwestern France.

It added that Friday's announcement was "nothing more than another outcome of the fortitude of the rule of law that has defeated ETA with the arms of democracy".

ETA waged a almost four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings to establish an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

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