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Professor William A. Douglass &
the 2006 Secret Basque Peace Initiative

Now we can know: the unknown mediator in the attempted Basque peace process of 2006 was William A. Douglass, professor emeritus of the Center for Basque Studies.  Here the behind the scenes story is told in an interview with the Basque magazine Argia in an English translation.

To read a pdf copy of the English translation click on:
William A. Douglass and the Geneve Basque Peace Initiative

Video clip of interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxmidJph89o

William A. Douglass, Ph.D., helped to initiate the Basque Studies Program (now Center for Basque Studies-CBS) and served as its coordinator for over thirty years from where he retired about a decade ago. He produced a truly impressive list of publications, and has garnered various awards for his lifetime of contributions to Basque Studies.  He remains active and continues to inspire scholars in Basque Studies.

Following his retirement from the CBS, Professor Douglass was approached by The
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, otherwise known as the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, to join in their Basque peace initiative.  The HD Centre proclaims to be: "An independent and impartial organization whose motivation is to reduce human suffering in war. We believe preventing and resolving armed conflicts is the surest means of doing so."  While initially hesitant, Douglass eventually agreed to try and help with bringing about a resolution to the Basque problem and E.T.A. violence. 

In this interview he explains why he joined in this initiative, because he believed that absent negotiation, there would be no chance of peace.  He also knew that by participating in this secret endeavor, he was taking a risk with Spanish authorities because contacting E.T.A. was illegal under Spain's counterterrorism laws, as well as U.S. law too.  Now that enough time has passed this story can be told.