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Spain: Basque mourners stay committed to militancy of lost leader00:50

Spain: Basque mourners stay committed to militancy of lost leader

Spain, Galdakao
April 2, 2013 at 09:28 GMT +00:00 · Published

SPAIN: Basque mourners stay committed to militancy of lost leader

Basque separatists gathered in Galdakao, Greater Bilboa, to mourn the death of the former ETA leader Francisco Xavier Lopez Pena. He operated under the alias of "Thierry". Mourners demonstrated, calling for greater freedom for the Basque people from Spanish and French governments. Those who attended the commemoration expressed commitment to Pena's militant struggle, chanting the Basque soldier anthem and attacking the policy of prisoner dispersal.

Pena became leader of the Basque separatist movement, ETA, in 2006 and began by advocating forcefully for the self-determination of Basque country in meetings with the then Spanish socialist government. His demands were not met. Thus, he officially ended a 14-month ceasefire in June 2007, launching a militant campaign.

Pena was arrested in Bordeaux in May 2008 along with three other leading ETA militants. Changing leadership and direction, the organisation has since announced the formal cessation of armed activity on October 20, 2011.

The death of Pena was announced on Saturday 30 March, after he suffered a stroke. His lawyer has stated she will lodge a complaint following his "shameful treatment" while in hospital.

Spain: Basque mourners stay committed to militancy of lost leader00:50
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SPAIN: Basque mourners stay committed to militancy of lost leader

Basque separatists gathered in Galdakao, Greater Bilboa, to mourn the death of the former ETA leader Francisco Xavier Lopez Pena. He operated under the alias of "Thierry". Mourners demonstrated, calling for greater freedom for the Basque people from Spanish and French governments. Those who attended the commemoration expressed commitment to Pena's militant struggle, chanting the Basque soldier anthem and attacking the policy of prisoner dispersal.

Pena became leader of the Basque separatist movement, ETA, in 2006 and began by advocating forcefully for the self-determination of Basque country in meetings with the then Spanish socialist government. His demands were not met. Thus, he officially ended a 14-month ceasefire in June 2007, launching a militant campaign.

Pena was arrested in Bordeaux in May 2008 along with three other leading ETA militants. Changing leadership and direction, the organisation has since announced the formal cessation of armed activity on October 20, 2011.

The death of Pena was announced on Saturday 30 March, after he suffered a stroke. His lawyer has stated she will lodge a complaint following his "shameful treatment" while in hospital.