“By assassinating Buesa they silenced his voice; a fundamental instrument of coexistence.”
Fernando Buesa Blanco was born in Bilbao on 29 May 1946 and lived in the town of Guernica, Vizcaya until he was ten. He studied Law at the universities of Madrid and Barcelona and worked as a lawyer between 1970 and 1986. He developed his professional and political career in Vitoria. Married and father to three children, he became politically active in 1977 and publically active two years later (1979). He was Regional Councillor for Álava (1979-1983), and later President of the same institution four years later (1987-1991); councillor for the Town Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz (1983-1987) and also (1985-1988) Secretary-General of the PSE-PSOE (Socialist Party of the Basque Country-Spanish Socialist Workers´ Party). He served for many years as leader of the Alava socialists; he was a member of the PSOE Federal Committee and the Basque Committee of the PSE-EE (Socialist Party of the Basque Country- Basque Country Left).
He was always considered to be one of the “strong men” and more influential figures in Basque Socialism, taking over the office of Vice-President for Social Affairs as well as the Basque Government’s Department of Education, as a result of the coalition agreement signed by the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), PSE-PSOE and EE, on 27 September, 1991. After just nine months in office, Fernando Buesa managed to lead the way to an important political and social agreement that formed the basis for the final organisation and standardisation of the Basque education system.
“The great achievement of this “School Pact,” one of the Basque Autonomy´s most important outstanding tasks, was an improvement in the quality of teaching and the curbing of the endless situation of crisis and conflict that gripped the complex Basque education system.”
In his role as a member of the Basque Parliament from 1984 onwards, he proved just what his effective weapons were: a tireless capacity for work, his speaking ability, exquisite good manners and the will to convince political opponents with arguments. He defended a multiple and varied range of issues before the Autonomous Parliament: including the Socialist stance on Self-determination and spoke out against violent nationalist excesses and the violation of such fundamental rights as the rights to life and freedom in the Basque Country.
In his private life he was committed to his wife and children, with whom he travelled on holiday to different corners of Europe in a mobile home that he had bought second hand. He was an ardent fan of the Baskonia basketball and Deportivo Alavés football teams and never missed a game. Music and reading were his greatest hobbies and he was always an avid walker around Vitoria.
“He admired the politician and defender of human rights, Olof Palme, leader of the Swedish social democracy, assassinated in 1986 when he was out walking with his wife through the centre of Stockholm.”
The lives of Fernando Buesa and his bodyguard Jorge Díez were cut short by terrorist madness on 22 February 2000. Both died when a car bomb loaded with 20 kilos of explosives exploded, very close to the home of the socialist leader in Vitoria. The murderers attacked much more than human beings. With Fernando Buesa they also struck out against democratic institutions which are the clearest expression of self-government. They could not have chosen a more representative victim who better embodied autonomy because of the positions he held.