26 April 2006


Jokin Gorostidi (Deba 1944) died yesterday after a heart attack. His life is been an example of compromise, dignity and struggle for the Basque Country's freedom. He became involved in workers struggles as a trade unionist and soon joined ETA.

He got two death penalties in 1970 during the famous Burgos Trial. He spent years in prison and after Franco died he was deported to Brussels. He came back and along with others funded Herri Batasuna. In 1980 he survived an attack from the French Police while he was meeting ETA leadership members in a bid to open negotiations with the Spanish state. He would be part of the interlocutor of the Left Abertzale for years. In the 90's he helped Basque political refugees and deportees in Africa and America and when he cae back from one of this trips he fell sick and was in coma for 55 days.

In 2000 he was arrested once again accused of being member of Xaki, the pro-independence movement's international department. He was released with a 30.000 € bail. Therefore he was being judged within the 18/98 show-trial in Madrid along with another 60 activists and had appear in court last Monday. The prosecutor asked 15 years for him. In 2003 was arrested and charged with helping ETA with the revolutionary tax and released with a 18.000 € bail.

He had a heart attack when going home after meeting his lawyer discuss about last Monday's appearance in court. He was in coma since then. Forty years of struggle which, as Batasuna's leadership highlighted yesterday, brought the Basque Country to the current political situation of real freedom's hope.

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