>> Basque separatist group ETA has ended its insurgency against Spain. A 50 year campaign for independence that killed more than 850 people and ultimately failed. Students formed ETA in 1959 to resist dictator General Franco's suppression of Basque culture. It wanted independence for the Basque country, struggling Northern Spain and Southern France.
The bombings and assassinations started nearly a decade later. And when Spain became a democracy in 1975, ETA kept up its campaign, though it could no longer claim to be resisting fascism. Reuters Eila Binny is in Madrid>> That was great popular revulsion about events including the bombing of a supermarket in Barcelona in the 1980's, which killed a pregnant woman among other civilians.
And in their bloodiest year they are known to have killed around 100 people, plus there are some 350 crimes which remain unsolved. Now on the other side in the early to mid 1980's, the Spanish government set up illegal armed squads. Which themselves in a bid to crack down on ETA, they killed some 27 an estimated 27 people.
>> When ETA killed a Basque member of a Spanish political party in 1997, outrage spread through Spain. Six million people took to the streets. It was the beginning of a slow decline for ETA. There were more bombings,>>
> But mostly cease fires, the last and lasting truce in 2011.
ETA surrendered its weapons a year ago, then came the apology. Now it's over, but the dream of a state hasn't died.>> In ETA's own statement this week they have underlined this change of strategy in the nationalist left wing movement. Putting an end to the violent cycle that was seen until 2011.
But still aiming for negotiations and still aiming for this ideal of a Basque republic.