“We are defending the role of the victims. Our work in this mission has been to help the victims to alleviate their pain ”, said this morning Agnès Evren, the president of the delegation of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament during the press conference that ended the visit to Spain to deal with unsolved ETA crimes.
This trip is related to the request that the Dignity and Justice Association denounced that there are still 379 unsolved murders committed by the terrorist group ETA. «This mission within three months will publish a report with all the conclusions and recommendations and it will be debated and voted on in the European Commission ”, said the French MEP.
At a press conference, Evren expressed the “impression” that both she and fellow MEPs had after these three days of visit. “Justice cannot be provided, because the perpetrators of the crimes have not been brought to justice”, has declared the president of the delegation.
During these three days, the mission has had the opportunity to visit the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism in Vitoria, “where we have been able to learn about the context and history and it has been a way of knowing the facts,” said the French MEP.
There have also been meetings with representatives of the State Security Forces and Bodies and the magistracy to whom the mission has wanted to acknowledge all their work, despite the fact that especially in the lead years, when there was an attack every three days , the means they had to investigate the crimes were negligible.
With the victims
But above all, this mission has wanted to pay tribute to the more than 370 families who have not been able to close the pain for the murder of a loved one, because the material author of their attack is not yet known. “ETA’s victims were both Spanish and European.”
The mission has collected the main requests that the victims’ associations sent them yesterday. Among them, the lack of cooperation from countries, also European like Belgium, which have not collaborated when extraditing ETA; the non-cooperation of the ETA members, “who enjoy prison benefits”, but who do not collaborate with the Justice and the humiliations suffered by the victims in each ‘ongi etorri’ that are held in the Basque Country and Navarra.
Evres wanted to make it clear that this mission “does not come to prosecute anyone, or any State” and that the European Union has no capacity to interfere in the criminal justice of a member country.
70% of unsolved crimes, during the lead years
On Wednesday, the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism delivered a report titled ‘The pending justice. ETA murders not clarified ‘, where he reached several conclusions.The first, ands that 70% of the pending crimes of the terrorist gang were committed in the years of lead, the 70s and 80s, when a crime was committed every three days. Furthermore, the Basque Country and Navarra account for almost 86% of these murders. The main cause of the existence of such a high number of unsolved crimes in these communities is “the situation of terror caused by ETA” in the first years of democracy, the text points out. These data, according to the French MEP, will be used when writing the report.
One of the reasons that can explain such a high number of unsolved cases, according to the Memorial’s dossier, is the intense terrorist campaign against the State Security Forces and Corps, which forced the police forces to allocate their troops to self-protection to the detriment of the investigation. “What ETA’s violence sought was to isolate the security forces from the citizens,” to through systematic attacks against the ESF, where ETA “sought to force them to devote most of their effort and resources to self-protection to the detriment of research and prevention.”