our dirty past

Colocación de placas en recuerdo víctimas de ETA.

The scar left by ETA will exist in our lives no matter what we do. it’s a bald We’ll be dragged through several generations because pain is also hereditary. This is precisely one of the greatest tragedies of violence: its effects beyond the living. Here and now, we have the opportunity and the duty to do things in a way that ensures that these negative effects last as little as possible.

this Violence is a trauma for the people exposed to it, but it is also a collective drama as it conditions the society in which they live.. Politics, public ethics or coexistence are marked by these attacks, and now it’s time to rebuild the damaged social fabric.

As Álvarez Junco writes, when it comes to reckoning with ourselves and our “dirty past,” it’s okay not to run away, not take shortcuts, and not pretend that what’s happening to us is something trivial to get over in one day. next. . Social harmony cannot be built on either forgetfulness or the rush to turn the page as soon as possible.

After a period of violence, in the transition to the new society they want to build, how the people and groups who use violence or applaud it will be saved for peace is always waiting. After the guns go silent, the positive challenge to peace emerges, which is more than just normalized institutional involvement by those who advocate the ETA killings. In that reason a enormous ethical ditch marked by the brutality of those who find meaning in killing.

If stopping attacks is the most urgent thing, Eliminating violence-related attitudes is a medium-term task this also needs to be addressed. The problem was not only ETA and its existence, but also the authoritarian and anti-pluralist attitude that infected its advocates.

In the transition period, the tension between reconciliation-coexistence and justice-truth left its mark on the political debate. In the end, it was decided that reconciliation was above justice, as if one were not part of the other. We were not an isolated case: in France, Germany, Ireland, and even in the dissolution of ETA the same discussion was made and resolved in a different, even opposite, way. Looking at these examples does not mean copying them, it means learning exactly what not to do. And never, ever, victims and their rights should not be left in the background.

The need to coexist, normalize political life, and even reach agreement must be aligned with a strong ethical demand to repair the damage done to those on the same train (personal and community) as ETA. And at this step, the official statements of some Sortu leaders do not make much sense if they are not accompanied by generalized and sustained attitudes.

The pre-political mandate of de-legitimizing violence and thus idealizing the perpetrators does not allow it to be done intermittently or in installments. To say that the harm done is known and at the same time to glorify the doer is a dissonance that spoils the path to a true and healthy coexistence, if that is what is meant.

Josu Elespe, the son of socialist councilor Froilán Elespe, who was assassinated in 2001, said so. “Full coexistence requires facing the truth of what you are doing”. Geraldine Schwarz’s full contribution in her book Los amnésicos is that violence will never be possible without mitlaufers who look the other way or take advantage of the social context that results from violence. As stated many times we need (new) peace mentalities for peace.

this Debate around terror victims and their memories is overly polarized by politics and their logic. For this reason victims, with their stories and intimate experiences of pain, are carriers of a sound worth listening to without short-circuits..

Victims’ expression of pain will disturb victims, but it is part of the process. Victims’ testimonies and details are a relentless instrument of truth, an eviction for the victim and a reminder to society. Recounting what happened is part of restorative action because that harsh and bloody truth replaces justice as a means of reparation when forgetfulness arises or the crime is not fully clarified.

Besides academic truths, there is an emotional truth and we need it as much as we live. Because if we can’t get rid of a second oblivion amidst this political noise, we will not be able to continue living together.

Here is the post-memory generation that has not experienced terrorism, inherited the pain, or felt its impact on their own lives. It should be noted that the statements of the victims of terrorism reinforce the terrorist incidents. prevention-anticipation of early radicalization processes and taking them to training centers is at the center of the new time.

When thirty years have passed, we will look to 2022 and we will definitely miss some things. For this reason We still have time to build a memory community that avoids the mistakes that others have made in this area at other times and elsewhere.. Memory is a case few people are willing to fight, but it affects many people for years. Let’s get it right when the time comes when no one can say “I was there” anymore.

The author is the author of the book ‘ETA: the memory of details’.


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Written by Adem

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