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Terror victims bring message to Basque schools

Published on 07/01/2008

7 January 2008

BILBAO – Victims of ETA attacks and of a spate of 1980s state-sponsored terrorism will provide testimony in schoolrooms across the Basque Country in an effort to delegitimise violence and instil a culture of peace and respect for human rights into the region’s young people.

The initiative is part of the first-ever Basque Peace and Human Rights Education Plan, which includes 90 activities aimed at "radically delegitimising terrorism," said the regional chief of justice, Joseba Azkarraga.

However, Azkarraga, who belongs to the nationalist party Eusko Alkartasuna, added that the plan makes it clear that ETA "is not responsible for all the terrorist violence that has historically taken place on our territory, nor for other types of illegitimate violence and serious violations of human rights."

A trial run of the plan, which will be rolled out until 2011 at a cost of EUR 6.5 million, was carried out at six public and subsidised private high schools in the region.

The speakers included victims of ETA, which has killed over 800 people in its 40-year history, and victims of GAL, a secret anti-ETA squad created under then-Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González, and which killed 27 people from 1983 to 1987.

[Copyright El Pais / AITOR GUENAGA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news