Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo
The Association of Victims of Terrorism (Spanish: Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo, AVT) is a Spanish association created in 1981 by victims of terrorist attacks. Its members include those injured by ETA, GRAPO, the Provisional Irish Republican Army and Al Qaeda, as well as their families. It does not, however, include victims of extreme right Spanish groups such as GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación), Warriors of Christ the King and others. Its membership exceeds 6,000.
Its current president is Francisco José Alcaraz. Alcaraz was indicted for slandering the Spanish government.
During the presidency of Jose Maria Aznar, the AVT advocated political positions criticised as extreme, including conspiracy theories regarding the Madrid train bombings. This led to the creation of other terror victims' associations with less divisive political agendas.
This association promoted a campaign against other Basque nationalist organisations, such as the political party Batasuna, Jarrai or Gestoras pro Amnistía, as well as music groups such as Su Ta Gar that it accuses of supporting Basque terrorism.
11 March 2004 train bombings
On 11 March 2004, a series of rush hour explosions in several Madrid train stations left 192 dead and some 1,900 wounded.
AVT expressed doubts about the conclusion reached by the Spanish judiciary. Specifically, the AVT asked why no pictures of the alleged perpetrators were found, unlike in the 7 July 2005 London bombings, and why the type of explosives used remains unknown. The association also questioned the relationship between the alleged perpetrators and the National Police Corps of Spain and Guardia Civil.
Opposition to negotiation with terrorists
On March 2006 ETA declared a 'permanent ceasefire' and pushed toward a 'solution for the political conflict in the Basque Country.' Spain's Socialist government, headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, vowed to start negotiations under the condition that ETA renounce violence unequivocally and stop all terrorist acts, including killings (where policemen, the military and city councilors had traditionally been ETA's main targets), street sabotage and blackmail.
Suspecting that political concessions were behind this negotiation (such as the recognition of self-determination, an amnesty or prisoner release, or uniting Navarre to the Basque Country), AVT opposed this process and organized demonstrations that previously had the full support of Spain's main opposition party, the conservative Partido Popular.
However, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) denied these claims and reminded the opposition of its attitude during a previous ETA truce in 1998, where peace talks were established between Aznar's PP and Basque terrorists. The PSOE, then in the opposition, supported this move, while the People's Party did not.
Other associations of ETA victims include COVITE (Colectivo de Víctimas del Terrorismo / Victims of Terrorism Group), representing victims from the Basque Country itself.
- Ediciones El País. "La Audiencia procede contra Alcaraz por injurias al Gobierno". EL PAÍS.
- Ediciones El País. "Un país demasiado anómalo". EL PAÍS.
- "Queremos saber la verdad" (PDF). Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo. December 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
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- Mundinteractivos. "La Fiscalía cambia su criterio y apoya que la asociación de Manjón sea acusación en el 11-M". elmundo.es.
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