It took a decade.

Since 2011, the victims and their relatives have had to wait for their suffering to be recognized by Eta's political successors.

In 2011, the Basque terrorist organization announced its dissolution, which it then finally carried out in 2018.

Without a word of self-criticism and compassion for the victims, the last terrorist group in Europe left after the end of the IRA, RAF and the Red Brigades.

The Eta commandos had murdered more than 850 people and injured more than 2500 since 1960.

On Wednesday, October 20, 2011, is remembered in Spain when Eta announced the "definitive end of its armed activities".

Hans-Christian Roessler

Political correspondent for the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb, based in Madrid.

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The violence that Eta used in its struggle for Basque independence "should never have existed," said Arnaldo Otegi, the main coordinator of the left-wing nationalist Basque party alliance EH Bildu.

In a “solemn declaration” together with the Basque Left Party Sortu, he expressed to the Eta victims “our grief and pain over the suffering they had to endure.

We feel their pain, and this sincere feeling leads us to affirm that this should never have happened, that no one can be satisfied with what has happened, and that it should not have lasted as long as it happened. "

Arnaldo Otegi was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in 1989 for his involvement in the kidnapping of a Basque entrepreneur.

He later played an important role in ending the violence and the dissolution of Eta.

When that happened in 2018, however, he was only prepared to recognize “all victims without exception”.

He and his supporters also wanted to include the “victims of state violence” in the fight against terrorism by the Spanish security forces.

For the Spanish right, the left-wing nationalists from Otegis Bildu-Block are to this day the “heirs of Eta”;

Bildu emerged from the successor organization of the banned Batasuna party, the former parliamentary arm of Eta.

In the Basque regional elections, Otegi was at times under discussion as the top candidate.

"Otegi is not a man of peace"

His conciliatory words, which did not contain a clear plea for apology, met with a divided echo in Spain. "Otegi is not a man of peace, he is a terrorist," wrote the conservative opposition leader Pablo Casado in a Twitter message. The PP chairman called on the socialist prime minister Pedro Sánchez not to cooperate in parliament with separatist parties such as EH Bildu. Both Sánchez's PSOE party and his coalition partner from the left-wing alternative Podemos party had praised the latest advance. At Podemos there was talk of an “unprecedented step”.

Basque MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa does not consider the declaration to be sufficient.

The human and political damage that Eta has caused is far too great for that, said the politician, whose brother murdered the terrorist group in 2003.

Even the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) could not gain anything from the latest gesture.

“The victims of terrorism have nothing to celebrate on October 20th.

The end of the violence of the Eta is thanks to the work of the state security forces, which they have defeated, ”said the organization.

If Otegi is serious about standing by the victims, he should better advocate active repentance: Former Eta members should finally use their knowledge to help solve more than 300 unsolved murders by the terrorist group.

Keywords: eta, terrorist organization, arnaldo otegi, successors, victims, basque, violence, dissolution, struggle, condolences, pedro sánchez, end, words, fact, suffering