• Spain's news in English

'We won't renounce our struggle': Eta leaders

AFP · 2 Oct 2013, 09:13

Published: 02 Oct 2013 09:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The demonstrators rallied in the centre of the Basque city to protest against the police operation against Herrira, which was founded in February 2012 to help Eta prisoners and their families, and demand that the 18 people arrested be released.

The protest was organized by pro-independence Basque groups, who called for another demonstration on Saturday in Bilbao, the Basque region's economic capital, against the police operation.

Police detained the Herrira leaders on Monday in simultaneous raids carried out in Bilbao, Hernani, Pamplona and Vitoria and closed down 38 websites run by the group as well as dozens of Facebook and Twitter accounts.

They also froze its bank accounts.

The Spanish government accuses Herrira of "organizing and supporting demonstrations that praised Eta prisoners and their ideals" and it argues that the group had replaced two other associations that aid Eta prisoners that had been banned in Spain, Askatasuna and Gestoras pro Amnistia.

Eta is blamed for the deaths of 829 people in a four-decade campaign of shootings and bombings for an independent homeland in northern Spain and southern France.

The arrests come as Eta is under pressure to give up its arms. In October 2011 it declared a "definitive end to armed activity" but it has not formally disarmed nor disbanded as the governments of Spain and France demand.

In a statement published Friday in Basque newspaper Gara, Eta said it refuses to "renounce its past struggle" for Basque independence and called on the Spanish government to negotiate.

In April a suspected top commander of Eta got a life sentence in France for the 2007 murder of two Spanish police officers.

Many more of its leaders have been arrested over recent years. 

Story continues below…

"Eta as an organisation, no longer exists and the Eta that carried out attacks will not longer return to carry out attacks," Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Diaz said on Tuesday.

The regional Basque government hailed the arrests of the Herrira members.

"They remind us of past eras, which gladly have been surpassed, and which we don't want to see come back," the spokesman for the Basque regional government, Josu Erkoreka, told reporters.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available