“Twenty years of travel Gijón

Today, September 24, before dawn, María José Rama and her children, Cristina and Carlos, will undertake an annual trip that is now part of their lives. Round trip in the day, Gijón-Leitza. Almost 800 kilometers of road in total. “I keep coming here, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the sun: nothing has made us abandon this act, which is an act of remembrance and a cry for justice,” María José Rama has said more than once. Today is Saturday, but as if it were Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday. It is September 24, and on this day in 2002, twenty years ago, ETA terrorists assassinated Juan Carlos Beiro, a civil guard stationed in Pamplona, ​​in Leitza, who three months earlier had applied for a vacant position in the town. Juan Carlos, a man still young, with a vocation for service, a law student, was the husband of María José and father of Carlos and Cristina, twins, who are now 26 years old. Twenty years of Gijón-Leitza and Leitza-Gijón trips. About 15,000 kilometers of love, memory, tribute; of meeting with the group of neighbors of the town that accompanies the family, with the civil guards always at their side, with institutional representations, with friendships from here forged throughout these years. In the mass, officiated at 1:00 p.m. in the Leitza parish, and in the floral offering later scheduled by the neighbors and the civil guards at the scene of the attack, María José Rama is the portrait of the memory (which she keeps), the dignity of the victims (which it embodies), justice (which it asks for) and the truth (which it proclaims) in the face of the heirs of ETA who seek to whitewash terror by interpreting the past in their own way.

The victims represent the reality of the facts. The past of that September 24, 2002 has only one story: the insulting banner, the civil guards who come to remove it and the crouching assassins who use a remote control to explode the explosive charge placed on the banner-trap. One of the wounded civil guards, Juan Carlos Beiro, lost his life. His wife, his children, his parents, also lose a part of their lives and the project of family life. The least that María José Rama can ask for today is justice. It’s the least she can ask for and it’s the only thing she asks for, every year in public, at the crime scene.

Fifteen thousand kilometers of memories. There is not a day of the year without looking back, to before and after the attack, but today, the day of the 800 kilometres, the past is condensed into 24 hours in September. María José Rama can remember, among the anguished hugs of that day, that of Reyes Zubeldia, who fourteen months earlier, also in Leitza, saw with horror from the balcony of her house how her husband, José Javier Múgica, a neighbor of the town, died. UPN councilman, when the bomb that the terrorists had planted in his car exploded. Since then, the group of neighbors of Leitza remembers the friend with a mass and with some flowers before the plaque placed in his house. Reyes Zubeldia, next to her three children, is another living image of memory, dignity and justice. With your head held high, as she says. Just like the neighborhood group, a pillar of memory. Remembrance is a moral duty to the victims who were, as public servants, in the forefront of the defenders of life, peace, democracy and freedom: the targets of ETA. It is also a form of presence before those who neither condemned then nor condemn the crimes now, and applaud the perpetrators when they are released from prison. Finally, today, in Leitza, is also an occasion to cheer the Civil Guard.

“Twenty years of travel Gijón-Leitza of the family of Juan Carlos Beiro, civil guard assassinated by ETA”