This is the Memorial Space, a central location in the building. It is named after Ana María Vidal-Abarca, a pioneer from Vitoria, promoter of the first association of victims of terrorism in Spain. Ana María founded the Brotherhood of Relatives, today AVT, in December 1980, just a few months after ETA killed her husband, Commander Jesús Velasco, in this same city. His daughter Ana Velasco explains various pieces that the family has donated for the exhibition.
Ana Velasco. Jesús Velasco’s wallet, beret and press clipping
“A bullet-riddled wallet next to the heart that the bullets split. A wallet hidden for a long time so as not to see the holes of death, the holes of absence, the holes of pain.
A wallet delivered to try to stir consciences, to try to awaken indifferent hearts, so that those who do not know, get to know, see, understand, pity, feel. The moment of death in a wallet. The crime. The consequence of evil.
The red beret, with the commander’s star embroidered in gold, and with the coat of arms and the Alava motto, “increasing justice, against criminals”, belonged to a soldier, to a “Miñón”, to Jesús Velasco.
A person who embodied the feeling of Alava and Spain integrated and fruitful, at the service of all. It symbolizes what could not be, because the evildoers prevented it.
Long live Spain! Ana María Vidal Abarca shouted into the air, standing over the grave of her recently murdered husband. And she did it to make the truth shine. So that everyone would know that Jesús Velasco was a servant of Spain and Álava. That the murderous band ETA had killed him because they did not want a military man to be in charge of the Miñones. That had been the only reason. So they did it.
And yes there was tension at the funeral. Or do you have to meekly accept premeditated killings with perverse intent?”
In the painting by José Ibarrola that you have before you, the focus falls on a commonly used utensil. The umbrella is an omnipresent object in the rainy Basque Country. Ibarrola makes it a metaphor for what you may think protects you, but it doesn’t stop you from getting wet. The artist was inspired by a photograph taken at the place where his friend José Luis López de Lacalle was murdered by ETA in 2000. The victim was lying on the ground and covered with a white sheet next to an open red umbrella.
You can continue the visit with the immersive audiovisual interface installed below the skylight, in the old bank’s operations yard. Accompanied by several victims, we will travel to the scenes of the terrorist attacks that marked them.