Consuelo Ordonez, whose brother was killed by the Basque armed group ETA, gives a book to a person attending the International Basque Conference, in San Sebastian, northern Spain Monday Oct. 17, 2011. The book details the history of more than eight hundred people killed by ETA. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)AP2011
Madrid, Spain – After a 43-year campaign of violence that has left many dead and injured, the armed Basque secessionist group ETA is finally renouncing armed struggle as a way to achieve a Basque homeland. And so doing, have asked the governments of Spain and France to open talks.
The group made the announcement in a statement Thursday to the Basque daily Gara which it regularly uses as a mouthpiece.
ETA declared a permanent cease-fire in January, but up to now had not renounced armed struggle as a tool for achieving an independent Basque state, a key demand by the Spanish government.
The group has killed 829 people in bombings and shootings since the late 1960s. It is classified as a terrorist organization by Spain, the European Union and the U.S.