On February 22, 2000, ETA planted a car bomb that killed her father, Fernando Buesa Blanco (general secretary of the PSE-EE in Alava) and his escort, Jorge Díez Elorza, opposite the university campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz.


Name: Sara Buesa Rodríguez

Age: 31 (1980).

Profession: Psychologist.

Place of origin: Vitoria-Gasteiz.

GROUP: Relatives of victims.


- On February 22, 2000, ETA planted a car bomb that killed her father, Fernando Buesa Blanco (general secretary of the PSE-EE in Alava) and his escort, Jorge Díez Elorza, opposite the university campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz.


“When walking down the street, many moments with my father come to my mind. I remember going with him to buy the newspaper every Sunday when I was very young. We would go for a walk together and sit on a bench. I also remember going to basketball matches and, when I was older, having more serious conversations. He wasn’t a person who would talk much of his feelings but, at certain times, he would surprise you by coming and speaking with you of really intimate issues”.

“I was 19 when they killed my father. I was in my second year at university and I had just finished my February exams. It was a total turning point – there was a before and an after. It’s been many years, but I still remember the day when he was murdered. I don’t usually dwell on it, but when it comes to my mind I remember it as if it had happened yesterday. These things are engraved in your memory like a flash, images or almost like a movie; with a certain sense of unreality. It is always present; it’s something that affects you forever”.

“It was a total turning point, something that changes everything. Suddenly, from one day to the next, you are a totally different person. The normal concerns that a person my age should have and that I may have felt the day before suddenly disappear, they are all nonsense and no longer important. It’s as if a weight is suddenly placed on your shoulders and you feel much older. One year after it happened, I still led the same life, but I was not the same person because I didn’t have the same feeling of joy and there is a huge gap between you and any other person”.

“You become more of a public figure, people know you and it’s as if you have to try to discover yourself again, to discover who I really am, Sara, beyond that situation. Try to find a meaning, joy for everyday things, enthusiasm”.

“The first feelings you have when something like this happens is to bury your head in a hole and not come out again. You are frightened to face life. I remember that I didn’t want to go out and, when I did, I would walk looking at the ground. It was almost a feeling of shame. I didn’t want to meet anyone I knew, I didn’t want anybody to see me or recognise me. It’s difficult to get back to a normal life. However, I was determined, and my family were a great help because we all had to cope. We have been very united and determined that this tragedy was not going to finish us off because life has many good things that are worth living for. We had to go on living and recover a sense of normality”.

“About four days after the terrorist attack, during the weekend, I went out with my mother for a walk. It was a sunny winter’s day, a lovely day. We were walking along and my mother told me that despite everything that had happened, she still thought life had many beautiful things to offer”.

“In those early days, the social support of people we didn’t know, seeing so many people in the street, receiving telegrams from people we didn’t know, all of the signatures that were collected in the university, people who brought flowers or candles…; it was great, exceptional. Whenever there are demonstrations after a terrorist attack, someone always asks what the point is because they think it is all useless and I always think there is a point. It’s the only thing that comforts you at the time. I cannot think of anything more terrible than having to go through that alone. This spirit is very valuable and you really appreciate it”.

“I have never felt unprotected or alone. Since it happened, it’s as if I feel I have a guardian angel, a special bond with someone who is looking at me from above and is happy when I am successful at something, who winks at me when something unexpected goes well, feels for me when I am down… I feel that bond and I feel my father is protecting me”.

“I believe that, since it all happened, I am much more human in some ways, more capable of understanding the suffering of others and empathising with them, and that is something I appreciate very much. Being indifferent is incredible to me. Perhaps I was like that myself before this happened, but I really value humanity and solidarity”.

“I also believe that I have always been a peaceful person, but much more after the attack. You realise that violence of any kind is nonsense, something to keep away from. I really appreciate peace and the power of reasoning things. And perhaps also tolerance, respect for differences, diversity. I believe that I am probably more tolerant now than before, that I judge less lightly. Let’s say that I am really intolerant of intolerance and, apart from that, I think that I am much more open to different options or perspectives”.

“There is always hope. You learn a lot from the experience of suffering, but in my opinion I still have a long way to go”.