Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo
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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 in terrorist attacks, and their families, by ETA, GRAPO, the Provisional Irish Republican Army and Al Qaeda. It does not, however, include victims of extreme right Spanish terrorists groups such as GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación), Warriors of Christ the King and others. It has a membership of 6,000
Its current president is Francisco José Alcaraz. Alcaraz has recently been indicted for slandering the Spanish government.
During the presidency of Jose Maria Aznar, the AVT advocated political positions criticized as extreme, including conspiracy theories regarding the Madrid train bombings. This led to the creation of other terror victims' associations with a less divisive political agenda.
This association has also promoted a campaign against other Basque nationalist organizations, such as the political party Batasuna, Jarrai or Gestoras pro Amnistía, as well as music groups such as Su Ta Gar which it accuses of supporting Basque terrorism.
Stance on the 11 March 2004 train bombings (11-M)
On 11 March 2004, a series of explosions occurring at rush hour in several of Madrid's train stations left 192 dead and some 1,900 wounded.
However, the AVT has thereafter expressed doubts about the conclusion reached by the Spanish judiciary.
In the aforementioned document, the AVT asks why there are no pictures of the alleged perpetrators, like in the 7 July 2005 London bombings, why the type of explosives that went off in the trains is unknown, why there are so mny Spanish police informers among the alleged perpetrators, how it is possible that the alleged perpetrators were under surveillance and infiltrated by the Spanish and how it is possible that a Spanish policeman (Maussili Kalaji) liberated the cellular phones used in the bombings, and that a Guardia Civil agent provided weapons to the alleged perpetrators.
Other victim associations from the 11 March attacks include the Asociación Afectados de Terrorismo, headed by Pilar Manjón. This other association does not share the same interests and points of view on the attacks as the AVT.
Opposition to negotiation with terrorists
On March 2006 ETA declared a 'permanent cease-fire' and pushed towards a 'solution for the political conflict in the Basque Country'. Spain's Socialist government, headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, vowed to start a negotiation under the condition that ETA renounce violence unequivocally and stop all terrorist acts, not only killings (where policemen, the military and city councillors had traditionally been ETA's main targets) but also street sabotage and blackmailing businessmen.
Based upon suspicion that political concession may be behind this negotiation (such as the recognition of self-determination, an amnesty or release of ETA prisoners or uniting Navarre to the Basque Country) has led the AVT to oppose this process and call up to several demonstrations which have had the full support of Spain's main opposition party, the conservative Partido Popular.
However, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) denies these claims and reminds the opposition of its attitude during a previous ETA truce in 1998, where peace talks were established between the then-in-power party, the PP (led by José María Aznar), and Basque terrorists. The PSOE, then in the opposition, supported this move, unlike the PP now.
Other associations of ETA victims include Covite (Colectivo de Víctimas del Terrorismo), representing most of victims from the Basque Country itself.