Spain vows to continue investigations into ETA despite Basque militant group's dissolution

The logo of the armed Basque separatist group ETA | Ander Gillenea  AFP via Getty Images

The logo of the armed Basque separatist group ETA | Ander Gillenea AFP via Getty Images

The group wanted a separate state in the Basque region in the north of the country.

The last victim of ETA was a French policeman in 2010, and in 2017, the group announced its definitive disarmament. Today's decision, it adds, "does not solve the conflict, which continues to exist between the Basque country, Spain and France". Let's not let our problems fester.

It wasn't immediately clear why the letter was dated two weeks earlier. The official, who wasn't authorised to be named in media reports, declined to elaborate. Victims group Dignidad y Justicia's estimates there are almost 400 deaths connected to the ETA which remain unresolved.

Then, after the arrests of many ETA leaders and operatives, the violence stopped.

In its early years, it was widely regarded as an opponent of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco as well as a separatist organisation.

ETA carried out a number of political assassinations and bombings during Franco's regime, which it continued after the dictator's death. It was founded in 1959 in response to the Spanish fascist government's repression of the Basque culture but persisted long after Spain's transition to democracy.




While ETA's attempt to create a sovereign Basque state was ineffective, the Basque region has more autonomy today than any of Spain's 17 regions - with its own police force, education system, language and financial relationship with the federal government. As well as killing 853 people, according to Spanish government figures, ETA injured more than 2,600 in its attacks against security forces, politicians and business figures.

"Through this letter, and with all humility, ETA wants to provide you all with one last opinion".

Eta will hold a symbolic event marking its disbandment in southern France on Friday.

Three ETA militants make a declaration in an undisclosed location in October 2011.

At a press conference on Wednesday in San Sebastian, minutes before the militant group's letter was published, victims group Covite criticised a statement last week in which ETA sought forgiveness from victims "who didn't have a direct participation in the conflict".

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