Jaime Mayor Oreja

On Peace Processes: Spain, Colombia and Beyond


Friday 5 May 2017



About the speaker: Jaime Mayor Oreja is a Spanish politician and former Minister of the Interior of Spain (1996-2001). He was also Member of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2014 as Vice-Chair of the European People's Party. He is now involved in various civil society initiatives, most notably through the Values and Society Foundation and the Political Network for Values. Born in San Sebastián (Basque Country) in 1951, Mayor Oreja was involved in regional politics in the 70s and 80s, the main years of activity of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), a Basque terrorist organization that has killed upwards of 820 people. He has himself been the target of such attacks and was primarily tasked with dealing with ETA upon joining the Aznar administration as Minister of Interior in 1996. He is most well-known for his harsh stances vis-à-vis the terrorist organization and will share some of these with us at Oxford.


About the event: Mr. Mayor Oreja gave a lecture on so-called "Peace Processes". He defined them conceptually and went on to share three pivotal moments of his time as Minister of the Interior of Spain when he received offers from ETA to initiate a dialogue, all of which he ultimately rejected. He made some final remarks and answered questions about common misconceptions regarding peace processes both in Spain and Colombia. Their only objective in Spain, he said, has been to break up the country, be it through terrorist or through political means, and to provide a distorted account of history and the political reality. Mr. Mayor Oreja's valuable account as the top rated minister of the Aznar administration were received with great praise and the agreement of many.

The Madariaga Series would like to thank Mr. Jaime Mayor Oreja for sharing his time and experience with us. We would also like to thank the Latin American Centre for hosting the colloquium and Magdalen College for making this initiative possible.