Jesus Mari Txurruka was to make his declaration at Bergara municipal court in Gipuzkoa last Saturday, the 20th of January. His grandfather's brother died in a Hamburg concentration camp in 1945; Franco's forces had killed his great-grandmother in cold blood nine years earlier at her farmstead at Elgeta in the Basque Country. But Jesus Mari is not going to make any such declaration. And nor are the other 13 victims' relatives who should have done so in January.
Maider Imaz, a temporary judge at Bergara court, accepted an accusation about Franco’s forces' crimes in Elgeta. Her historical decision caused a stir, being the first small opening in the Spanish justice system for the savagery of 80 years ago to be brought to trial.
But hope was to be short-lived, and full-timejudge Hugo Jacobo Calzon Mahia closed the case. The reasons were the same as always: The Spanish Amnesty Law of 1977 does not allow investigation into those crimes, and they are considered to have lapsed. The Basque Anti-Franco Accusation Platform believes that there was a “political hand” behind the change. Josu Ibargutxi, the platform's spokesperson, explained on the radio that all public prosecutors use the same, obvious "copy and paste" methods. Recently another court did the same thing with an accusation against the people who ordered the Durango bombardment in 1937.
The victims' associations have requested international agreements about human rights crimes be taken into account in order to overcome the Spanish legal wall, the former not having lapsed. Genocide is the deliberate elimination of a people, according to those agreements.
At Elgeta in October, 1936, the people in favour of the democratic republic were surprisingly able to hold up Franco's forces advance and form a front. Vengeance against local people was savage, with 33 townspeople being killed. Anttoni Telleria's case was one of the worst, who was raped while killing her parents before her; but all of those killings, fines and measure of repression were systematic and deliberate.
The killers are dying out, but the State's underlying responsibility is still there. The problem is that it is increasingly difficult to find witnesses and prove the truth as time goes on, and justice can only follow behind the truth.
Jesus Mari Txurruka got his great-uncle's watch back from Germany, where the Nazis had confiscated it in 1944. The glass was broken, but its hands still move forwards on the wall at Elgeta Memory Museum.
A year has gone by since Iberdrola electric company and the Basque Government cut the power on the Errekaleor district of Gasteiz. The project then became known to many people, and there was a huge wave of solidarity. Amongst other things, they collected € 10,000 to create their own energy system and now, one year later, they want to thank everybody who took part in the fund-raising on May 20th, which they are calling 100 mila esker ("A Hundred Thousand Thanks") Day.
Thousands of people came together at Herri Urrats (The People's Steps), the festivity which Basque schools (ikastolas) in the northern Basque Country hold every year. Seaska ikastola federation's request to the French government for more teachers was the main subject of conversation this year.
We went through a cathartic process on October 20th, 2011, when they renounced violence, but now, too, writing that ETA has disappeared is no small thing. When you realise everything that means, a shiver goes down your spine. There have been too many events and feelings, too much suffering over the last 60 years for it to be otherwise.
The punishment for a group of men who attacked a women has caused anger in the Basque Country and in Spain. Five men have been tried for attacking a woman during the 2016 San Fermin festivities at Iruñea, Navarre. The Navarrese High Court's reading of the sentence caused considerable media interest: each of the men has been condemned to a nine-year sentence, expenses of 50,000 euros and a restraining order.
On 14 April the biggest demonstration in Iruñea for a long time was held in support of the ten young people from Altsasu, Navarre, who are going to be tried in Madrid. Some people thought it was the biggest demonstration ever held there: the municipal police state that 38,000 people took part, while the organizers say that 50,000 did. Claiming that a brawl in which they took part was "terrorism", the prosecutor has called for them each to be imprisoned between 50 and 62 years.
“After taking part in a four-year long process, we have opened a new playground at our school. It will give boys and girls the same opportunities, they will be surrounded by nature and it has come from their dreams." This is now the new playground at Kurutziaga School at Durango, Bizkaia, has been described. It will be officially opened on 24th April.
After making preparatives over the last few months, BiziLagunEkin ('with our neighbours') platform has been set up in Donostia. "The current model of tourism in the city concerns us. We are a meeting place for people from different ideologies and ways of life. What brings us together is a concern about the consequences of tourism in our city on local people's lives".
The Government of Navarre (Basque Country) has decided to offer public health care to the people who have been excluded from it; for instance, immigrants without documents.
A pension of less than 1,080 Euros. That is the figure which the Pentsionistak Martxan (Pensioners on the March) platform has set forward as the lowest dignified pension, and on 17th March tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the main Basque cities in support. The people furthest from that objective in the Basque Autonomous Community (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) are women.
In 2017 somebody at Sarriguren (in the Iruñea area of Navarre) suggested that part of the town's participative budget be used to create a natural wooded area along the canal there.