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ETA an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (eus̺kadi ta as̺katas̺una; "Basque Homeland and Freedom") is an armed Basque nationalist
Basque nationalism
Basque nationalism is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or, chiefly, full independence of the Basque Country in the wider sense...

 and separatist
Separatism
Separatism is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it often refers to full political secession, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy...

 organization. The group was founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country. ETA is the main organisation of the Basque National Liberation Movement
Basque National Liberation Movement
The Basque National Liberation Movement is an umbrella term that comprises all social, political and armed organizations orbiting around the ideas of the illegal armed organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna , proscribed internationally as a terrorist organisation.The wide variety of organizations and...

 and is the most important participant in the Basque conflict
Basque conflict
The Basque conflict, also known as the Spain–ETA conflict, was an armed conflict between the Spanish state, France and the Basque National Liberation Movement, a group of social and political Basque organizations which seeked independence from Spain and France...

. ETA declared ceasefires in 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2006, but subsequently broke them. However, on 5 September 2010, ETA declared a new ceasefire that is still in force – moreover, on 20 October 2011 ETA announced a "definitive cessation of its armed activity".

ETA's motto is ("Keep up on both"), referring to the two figures in its symbol, a snake (representing politics) wrapped around an axe (representing armed struggle).

Since 1968, ETA has been held responsible for killing 829 individuals, injuring thousands and undertaking dozens of kidnappings. The group is proscribed as a terrorist organization by the Spanish and French authorities, as well as the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 as a whole, and the United States
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

. This convention is followed by a plurality of domestic and international media, which also refer to the group as "terrorists". More than 700 members of the organization are incarcerated in prisons in Spain, France, and other countries.

Structure


ETA has changed its internal structure on several occasions, commonly for security reasons. The group used to have a very hierarchical organization with a leading figure at the top, delegating into three substructures: the logistical, military and political sections. Reports from Spanish and French police point towards significant changes in ETA's structures in recent years. ETA has divided the three substructures into a total of eleven. The change was a response to recent captures, and possible infiltration, by the different law enforcement agencies. ETA's intention is to disperse its members and reduce the impact of detentions.

The leading committee is formed by 7 to 11 individuals, and ETA's internal documentation refers to it as Zuba, an abbreviation of Zuzendaritza Batzordea (directorial committee). There is another committee named Zuba-hitu that functions as an advisory committee. The eleven different substructures are: logistics, politics, international relations with fraternal organisations, military operations, reserves, prisoner support, expropriation, information, recruitment, negotiation, and treasury.

ETA's armed operations are organized in different taldes ("groups") or commandos, generally composed of three to five members, whose objective is to conduct attacks in a specific geographic zone. The taldes are coordinated by the cúpula militar ("military cupola
Cupola
In architecture, a cupola is a small, most-often dome-like, structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome....

"). To supply the taldes, support groups maintain safe house
Safe house
In the jargon of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, a safe house is a secure location, suitable for hiding witnesses, agents or other persons perceived as being in danger...

s and zulos (small rooms concealed in forests, garret
Garret
A garret is generally synonymous in modern usage with a habitable attic or small living space at the top of a house. It entered Middle English via Old French with a military connotation of a watchtower or something akin to a garrison, in other words a place for guards or soldiers to be quartered...

s or underground, used to store arms, explosives or, sometimes, kidnapped people; the Basque word zulo literally means "hole"). The small cellars used to hide the people kidnapped are named by ETA and ETA's supporters "people's jails". Currently the most common commandos are itinerant, not linked to any specific area, and thus are more difficult to capture.

Among its members, ETA distinguishes between legales/legalak ("legal ones"), those members who do not have police records and live apparently normal lives; liberados ("liberated") members known to the police that are on ETA's payroll and working full time for ETA; and apoyos ("support") who just give occasional help and logistics support to the organization when required. There are also the imprisoned members of the organisation, serving time scattered across Spain and France, that sometimes still have significant influence inside the organisation; and finally the quemados ("burnt out"), members freed after having been imprisoned or those that the organisation suspect under police vigilance. In the past there was also the figure of the deportees, expelled by the French government to remote countries where they live freely. France has since stopped the practice of deporting ETA members to other places than to Spain to be judged. ETA's internal bulletin is named Zutabe ("Column"), replacing the earlier one (1962) Zutik
Zutik (publication)
Zutik was the internal organ of the Basque clandestine armed organization ETA. It was founded in 1962.The current organ of ETA is named Zutabe ....

("Standing").

ETA also promotes the kale borroka
Kale borroka
Kale borroka refers to urban guerrilla actions carried out by Basque nationalist youth who are integrated into the abertzale left. Along with ETA, the kale borroka is the only remaining armed faction of Basque nationalists in the Basque Conflict....

("street fight"), that is, violent acts against public transportation, political parties offices or cultural buildings, destruction of private property of politicians, police, military, journalist, council members, and anyone voicing criticism against ETA, bank offices, menaces, graffiti of political mottos, and general rioting, usually using Molotov cocktails. These groups are made up mostly of young people, who are directed through youth organisations (such as Jarrai, Haika and Segi
SEGI
Segi is a Basque pro-independence and revolutionary left-wing organization. It forms part of the Basque National Liberation Movement and is aligned with Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak and Batasuna....

). Many of the present-day members of ETA started their collaboration with the organisation as participants in the kale borroka.

Political support


The political party Batasuna
Batasuna
Batasuna was a Basque nationalist political party based mainly in Spain, where it was outlawed in 2003, after a court ruling declared proven that the party was financing ETA with public money. Batasuna is included in the "European Union list of terrorist persons and organizations" as a component...

 pursues the same political goals as ETA and does not condemn ETA's use of violence. Formerly known as Euskal Herritarrok and "Herri Batasuna"), it is presently banned by the Spanish Supreme Court as an anti-democratic organisation following the Political Parties Law (Ley de Partidos Políticos), It generally received 8% to 15% of the vote in the Basque Autonomous Community
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, also called Historical Territories....

.

Batasuna's political status is controversial. It was considered to be the political wing of ETA. Moreover, after the investigations on the nature of the relationship between Batasuna and ETA by Judge Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón Real is a Spanish jurist who served on Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional. He was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No...

, who suspended the activities of the political organisation and ordered police to shut down its headquarters, the Supreme Court of Spain
Supreme Court of Spain
The Supreme Court of Spain is the highest court in Spain for all matters not pertaining to the Spanish Constitution. The court which meets in the Convent of the Salesas Reales in Madrid, consists of a president and an indeterminate number of magistrates appointed to the five chambers of the...

 finally declared Batasuna illegal on 18 March 2003. The court considered proven that Batasuna had links with ETA and that it constituted in fact part of ETA's structure. In 2003, the Constitutional Tribunal upheld the legality of the law.

However, the party itself denies being the political wing of ETA, despite the fact that double membership – simultaneous or alternative – between Batasuna and ETA is often recorded, such as with the cases of prominent Batasuna leaders like Josu Ternera, Arnaldo Otegi
Arnaldo Otegi
Arnaldo Otegi Mondragón is a Basque politician and spokesman for the outlawed Abertzale Basque separatist party Batasuna....

, Jon Salaberria and others.

The Spanish Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 (the Spanish Parliament) began the process of declaring the party illegal in August 2002 by issuing a bill entitled the Ley de Partidos Políticos which bars political parties that use violence to achieve political goals, promotes hatred against different groups or seek to destroy the democratic system. The bill passed the Cortes with a 304 to 16 vote.). Many within the Basque nationalistic movement strongly disputed the Law, which they consider too draconian or even unconstitutional; alleging that any party could be made illegal almost by choice, simply for not clearly stating their opposition to an attack. Defenders of the new law argue that the Ley de Partidos does not necessarily require responses to individual acts of violence, but rather a declaration of principles explicitly rejecting violence as a means of achieving political goals. Defenders also argue that the ban of a political party is subject to judicial process, with all the guarantees of the State of Law. Batasuna has failed to produce such a statement. other political parties linked to organizations such as Partido Comunista de España (reconstituido)
Communist Party of Spain (Reconstituted)
The Partido Comunista de España , PCE is a Spanish clandestine communist party that broke out from the Communist Party of Spain ....

 have also been declared illegal, and Acción Nacionalista Vasca and Communist Party of the Basque Lands (EHAK/PCTV, Euskal Herrialdeetako Alderdi Komunista/Partido Comunista de las Tierras Vascas) were declared illegal in September 2008.

A new party called Aukera Guztiak (All the Options) was formed expressly for the elections to the Basque Parliament
Basque Parliament
The Basque Parliament is the legislative body of the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain and the elected assembly to which the Basque Government is responsible....

 of April 2005. Its supporters claimed no heritage from Batasuna, asserting that their aim was to allow Basque citizens to freely express their political ideas, even those of independence. On the matter of political violence, Aukera Guztiak stated their right not to condemn some kinds of violence more than others if they did not see fit (in this regard, the Basque National Liberation Movement
Basque National Liberation Movement
The Basque National Liberation Movement is an umbrella term that comprises all social, political and armed organizations orbiting around the ideas of the illegal armed organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna , proscribed internationally as a terrorist organisation.The wide variety of organizations and...

 (MLNV) regards present police actions as violence, torture and state terrorism). Nevertheless, most of their members and certainly most of their leadership were former Batasuna supporters or affiliates. The Spanish Supreme Court unanimously considered the party to be a sequel to Batasuna and declared a ban on it.

After Aukera Guztiak had been banned, and less than two weeks before the election, another political group appeared born from an earlier schism from Herri Batasuna, the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (EHAK/PCTV, Euskal Herrialdeetako Alderdi Komunista / Partido Comunista de las Tierras Vascas), a formerly unknown political party which had no representation in the Autonomous Basque Parliament. EHAK made the announcement that they would apply the votes they obtained to sustain the political programme of the now banned Aukera Guztiak platform. This move left no time for the Spanish courts to investigate EHAK in compliance with the Ley de Partidos before the elections were held. The bulk of Batasuna supporters voted in this election for PCTV, a virtually unknown political formation until then. PCTV obtained 9 seats of 75 (12.44% of votes) at the Basque Parliament.
The election of EHAK representatives eventually allowed the programme of the illegalized Batasuna to continue being represented without having condemned violence as required by the Ley de Partidos.

In February 2011, Sortu, a party described as "the new Batasuna", was launched. Unlike predecessor parties, Sortu explicitly rejects politically motivated violence, including that of ETA. However on 23 March 2011, the Spanish Supreme Court banned Sortu from registering as a political party on the grounds that it was linked to ETA.

Social support


Spanish transition to democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

 from 1975 on and ETA's progressive radicalisation have resulted in a steady loss of support, which became especially apparent at the time of their 1997 kidnapping and countdown assassination of Miguel Ángel Blanco
Miguel Ángel Blanco
Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido was a local Spanish politician for the People's Party, who was kidnapped and subsequently executed by the Basque terrorist group ETA.-Early life:...

. Their loss of sympathisers has been reflected in an erosion of support for the political parties identified with them. In the 1998 Basque parliament elections Euskal Herritarrok, formerly Batasuna, polled 17.7% of the votes. However by 2001 the party's support had fallen to 10.0%. There were also concerns that Spain's "judicial offensive" against alleged ETA supporters (two Basque political parties and one NGO were banned in September 2008) constitute a threat to human rights. Strong evidence was seen that a legal network had grown so wide as to lead to the arrest of numerous innocent people. According to Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 was still "persistent", though not "systematic." Inroads could be undermined by judicial short-cuts and abuses of human rights.

Opinion polls


The Euskobarometro
Euskobarómetro
The Euskobarómetro is a sociological statistical survey in the Basque Country , an autonomous community of Spain...

, the survey carried out by the Universidad del País Vasco (University of the Basque Country), asking about the views of ETA within the Basque population, has obtained these results in May 2009: 64% rejected ETA totally, 13% identified themselves as former ETA sympathisers (mainly during the Franco dictatorship) who no longer support the group. Another 10% agreed with ETA's ends, but not their means. 3% said that their attitude towards ETA was mainly one of fear, 3% expressed indifference and 3% were undecided or did not answer. About 3% gave ETA "justified, with criticism" support (supporting the group but criticising some of their actions) and only 1% gave ETA total support. Even within Batasuna voters, at least 48% rejected ETA's violence.

A poll taken by the Basque Autonomous Government in December 2006 during ETA's "permanent" ceasefire
ETA's 2006 ceasefire declaration
The ETA's 2006 "permanent ceasefire" was the period spanning between 24 March and 30 December 2006 during which, following an ETA communiqué, the Spanish government, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on one side, and the militant group on the other, engaged in talks as a means to agree on a...

 showed that 88% of the Basques thought that it was necessary for all political parties to launch a dialogue, including a debate on the political framework for the Basque Country (86%). 69% support the idea of ratifying the results of this hypothetical multiparty dialogue through a referendum. This poll also reveals that the hope of a peaceful resolution to the issue of the constitutional status of the Basque region has fallen to 78% (from 90% in April).

These polls did not cover Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

, where support for Basque nationalist electoral options is weaker (around 25% of population) or the Northern Basque Country
Northern Basque Country
The French Basque Country or Northern Basque Country situated within the western part of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques constitutes the north-eastern part of the Basque Country....

 where support is even weaker (around 15% of population).

During Franco's dictatorship


ETA grew from a student group called Ekin, founded in the early 1950s, which published a magazine and undertook direct action. ETA was founded on 31 July 1959 as Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom) by students frustrated by the moderate stance of the Basque Nationalist Party
Basque Nationalist Party
The Basque National Party is the largest and oldest Basque nationalist party. It is currently the largest political party in the Basque Autonomous Community also with a minor presence in Navarre and a marginal one in the French Basque Country...

. (Originally, the name for the organisation used the word Aberri instead of Euskadi, creating the acronym ATA. However, in some Basque dialects, ata means duck, so the name was changed.)

ETA held their first assembly in Bayonne
Bayonne
Bayonne is a city and commune in south-western France at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, of which it is a sub-prefecture...

, France, in 1962, during which a "declaration of principles" was formulated and following which a structure of activist cells was developed. Subsequently, Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and third-worldist perspectives developed within ETA, becoming the basis for a political programme set out in Federico Krutwig's 1963 book Vasconia, which is considered to be the defining text of the movement. In contrast to previous Basque nationalist platforms, Krutwig's vision was anti-religious and based upon language and culture rather than race. ETA's third and fourth assemblies, held in 1964 and 1965, adopted an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist position, seeing nationalism and the class struggle as intrinsically connected.

Although statistics published by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior (Spain)
The Ministry of Interior of Spain which historically could be known as Ministerio de la Gobernación, Ministerio del Orden Público, Ministerio del Interior y la Gobernación or Ministerio del Interior y Justicia is the executive branch responsible for policing, national security, and immigration...

 show that ETA's first victim was killed in 1968, some sources attribute the 1960 bombing of the Amara station in Donostia-San Sebastian (which killed a 22-month-old child) to ETA. This attack was claimed by the Portuguese and Spanish left-wing group DRIL
DRIL
DRIL is a surgical method of treating vascular access steal syndrome.-Procedure:A short distal bypass is created and the artery just distal to the AV anastomosis is ligated....

 (together with four other very similar bombings committed that same day across Spain, all of which are attributed to DRIL). The attack has, however, been blamed on ETA because a chronology of ETA attacks referring to the 1960 bombing was allegedly found on the computer of the head of ETA's political arm, José Luis Álvarez Santacristina ("Txelis"), following his capture by police in March 1992. The Spanish parliament therefore regards the 1960 bombing to have been ETA's first attack, although this attribution has been considered to be unfounded.

ETA's first confirmed killing occurred on 7 June 1968, when Guardia Civil member José Pardines Arcay was shot dead after he tried to halt ETA member Txabi Etxebarrieta
Txabi Etxebarrieta
Txabi Etxebarrieta , also known as Xabier Etxebarrieta Ortiz was a Basque nationalist and anti-fascist who was a popular leader of the armed separatist organisation Euskadi ta Askatasuna . He was killed after a confrontation with the Guardia Civil...

 during a routine road check. Etxebarrieta was chased down and killed as he tried to flee. This led to retaliation in the form of the first planned ETA assassination: that of Melitón Manzanas
Melitón Manzanas
Melitón Manzanas González was a high-ranking police officer in Francoist Spain, known as a torturer and the first planned victim of ETA....

, chief of the secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 in San Sebastián and associated with a long record of tortures inflicted on detainees in his custody. In December 1970, several members of ETA were condemned to death in the Proceso de Burgos ("Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

 Trial"), but international pressure resulted in their sentences being commuted (a process which, however, had by that time already been applied to some other members of ETA).

In early December 1970, ETA kidnapped the German consul in San Sebastian, Eugen Beilh, in order to exchange him for the Burgos defendants. He was released unharmed on Christmas Eve.

Nationalists who refused to follow the tenets of Marxism-Leninism and who sought to create a united front
United front
The united front is a form of struggle that may be pursued by revolutionaries. The basic theory of the united front tactic was first developed by the Comintern, an international communist organisation created by revolutionaries in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.According to the theses of...

 appeared as ETA-V, but lacked the support to challenge ETA.

The most significant assassination performed by ETA during Franco's dictatorship was Operación Ogro
Operación Ogro
Operación Ogro was the name given by ETA to the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco the Prime Minister of Spain in 1973...

, the December 1973 bomb assassination in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco
Luis Carrero Blanco
Don Luis Carrero Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero Blanco, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish admiral and long-time confidant of dictator Francisco Franco.- Biography :...

, Franco's chosen successor and president of the government (a position roughly equivalent to being a prime minister). The assassination had been planned for months and was executed by placing a bomb in the sewer below the street where Carrero Blanco's car passed every day. The bomb blew up beneath the politician's car and threw it three floors into the air and over the top of a nearby building onto a balcony in a nearby courtyard.

For some in the Spanish opposition, Carrero Blanco's assassination i.e. the elimination of Franco's chosen successor was an instrumental step for the subsequent establishment of democracy.

During the transition


During the Spanish transition to democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

 which began following Franco's death, ETA split into two separate organisations: ETA political-military
ETA political-military
ETA political-military or ETA was a faction of the Basque revolutionary armed organization ETA, who during Spain's transition to democracy proposed initially a double political and military type of work, by contrast to ETA militarra or ETA, who initially wanted...

 or ETA(pm), and ETA military or ETA(m).

Both ETA(m) and ETA(pm) refused offers of amnesty, and instead pursued and intensified their violent struggle. The years 1978–80 were to prove ETA's most deadly, with 68, 76, and 98 fatalities, respectively. [Martinez-Herrera 2002]

During the Franco dictatorship, ETA was able to take advantage of tolerance by the French government, which allowed its members to move freely through French territory, believing that in this manner they were contributing to the end of Franco's regime. There is much controversy over the degree to which this policy of "sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

" continued even after the transition to democracy, but it is generally agreed that currently the French authorities collaborate closely with the Spanish government against ETA.

In the 1980s, ETA(pm) accepted the Spanish government's offer of individual pardons to all ETA prisoners, even those who had committed violent crimes, who publicly abandoned the policy of violence. This caused a new division in ETA(pm) between the seventh and eighth assemblies. ETA VII accepted this partial amnesty granted by the now democratic Spanish government and integrated into the political party Euskadiko Ezkerra
Euskadiko Ezkerra
Euskadiko Ezkerra or EE was a Basque socialist political organisation. It was founded as a coalition of Euskal Iraultzarako Alderdia and other Basque Marxist forces in 1977 to present lists for the Spanish general elections in the constituencies of Vizcaya,...

("Left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 of the Basque Country").

ETA VIII, after a brief period of independent activity, eventually integrated into ETA(m), possibly influencing ETA(m) into adopting even more radical and violent positions. With no factions existing anymore, ETA(m) revamped the original name of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna.

GAL


During the 1980s a "dirty war" ensued by means of the Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación
Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación
Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación were death squads established illegally by officials of the Spanish government to fight ETA, the principal Basque separatist militant group. They were active from 1983 until 1987, under Spanish Socialist Workers Party -led governments...

 (GAL, "Antiterrorist Liberation Groups"), a paramilitary patriotic group which billed themselves as counter-terrorist, active between 1983 and 1987. The GAL committed assassinations, kidnappings and torture, not only of ETA members but of civilians supposedly related to those, some of whom turned out to have nothing to do with ETA. 27 people were murdered by GAL. Activities of GAL were a follow-up of similar dirty war actions by death squads, actively supported by members of Spanish security forces and secret services, using names such as Batallón Vasco Español
Batallón Vasco Español
The Batallón Vasco Español was a Spanish Basque right-wing paramilitary group active from 1975 to 1981, primarily in French Basque Country.The BVE employed violence mainly against Basque separatist groups....

 acting from 1976 to 1982. They were responsible for the killing of about 48 people.

One consequence of GAL's activities in France was the decision in 1984 by interior minister Pierre Joxe to permit the extradition of ETA suspects to Spain. Reaching this decision had taken 25 years and was critical in curbing ETA's capabilities by denial of previously safe territory in France.

The airing of the state-sponsored "dirty war" scheme and the imprisonment of officials responsible for GAL in the early 1990s led to a political scandal in Spain. The group's connections with the state were unveiled by the Spanish journal El Mundo
El Mundo (Spain)
El Mundo is the second largest printed and the largest digital daily newspaper in Spain and one of the newspapers of record in that country, with a daily circulation topping 300,000 readers for the printed edition and 24 million unique web visitors per month for the...

, with an investigative
Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

 series leading to the GAL plot being discovered and trial initiated. As a consequence, the group's attacks since the revelation have generally been dubbed state terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

.

In 1997 the Spanish Audiencia Nacional court finished its trial, which resulted in convictions and imprisonment of several individuals related to the GAL, including civil servants up to the highest levels of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

 (PSOE) government, such as former Homeland Minister José Barrionuevo. Premier Felipe González
Felipe González
Felipe González Márquez is a Spanish socialist politician. He was the General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party from 1974 to 1997. To date, he remains the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain, after having served four successive mandates from 1982 to 1996.-Early life:Felipe was...

 was quoted as saying that the constitutional state
Rechtsstaat
Rechtsstaat is a concept in continental European legal thinking, originally borrowed from German jurisprudence, which can be translated as "legal state", "state of law", "state of justice", or "state of rights"...

 has to defend itself "also in the sewers" (El Estado de derecho también se defiende en las cloacas) something which, for some, indicated at least his knowledge of the scheme. However, his involvement with the GAL could never be proven.

These events marked the end of the armed "counter-terrorist" period in Spain and no major cases of foul play on the part of the Spanish government after 1987 (when GAL ceased to operate) have been proven in courts.

Human rights


According to the radical nationalist group, Euskal Memoria, between 1960 and 2010 there were 474 deaths in the Basque Country due to (primarily Spanish) "state violence". This figure is considerably higher than those given elsewhere, which usually amount to 250–300.

ETA members and supporters routinely claim torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 at the hands of any police force. While these claims are hard to verify, some convictions are based on confessions obtained while prisoners are held incommunicado and without access to a lawyer of their choice, for a maximum of five days. These confessions are routinely repudiated by the defendants during trials as having been extracted under torture. There have been some successful prosecutions of proven tortures during the "dirty war" period of the mid-1980s, although the penalties have been considered by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 as unjustifiably light and lenient with co-conspirators and enablers.

In this regard, Amnesty International has shown concern for the continuous disregard on the recommendations issued by the agency to prevent the alleged abuses to possibly take place. Also in this regard, ETA's manuals have been found instructing its members and supporters to claim routinely that they had been tortured while detained. Unai Romano's case has been very controversial. Pictures of him with a symmetrically swollen face of uncertain etiology were published after his incomunication period leading to claims of police abuse and torture. Martxelo Otamendi, the ex-director of the Basque newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria, decided to bring charges in September 2008 against the Spanish Government in Strasbourg Court for "not inspecting properly" torture denounced cases.

As a result of ETA's violence, threats and killings of journalists, Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 has included Spain in all six editions of its annual watchlist on press freedom
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

. Thus, this NGO has included ETA in its watchlist "Predators of Press Freedom".

Under democracy


ETA performed their first car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 assassination in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 in September 1985, resulting in one death (American citizen Eugene Kent Brown, Johnson & Johnson employee) and sixteen injuries; another bomb in July 1986 killed twelve members of the Guardia Civil and injured 50; on 19 June 1987, the Hipercor bombing
1987 Hipercor bombing
The 1987 Hipercor bombing was a car bomb attack by the Basque separatist organisation ETA which occurred on 19 June 1987 at the Hipercor shopping centre on Avinguda Meridiana, Barcelona, Spain. The bombing killed 21 people and injured 45 people.-Background:...

 was an attack in a shopping center in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, killing twenty-one and injuring forty-five; in the last case, entire families were killed. The horror caused then was so striking that ETA felt compelled to issue a communiqué stating that they had given advance warning of the Hipercor bomb, but that the police had declined to evacuate the area. The police claim that the warning came only a few minutes before the bomb exploded.

In 1986 Gesto por la Paz (known in English as Association for Peace in the Basque Country) was founded; they began to convene silent demonstrations in communities throughout the Basque Country the day after any violent killing, whether by ETA or by GAL. These were the first systematic demonstrations in the Basque Country against terrorist violence. Also in 1986, in Ordizia
Ordizia
Ordizia is a town and municipality located in the Goierri region of the province of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, northern Spain.The professional cycle road race Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia is held yearly in Ordizia....

, ETA shot down María Dolores Katarain, known as "Yoyes", while she was walking with her infant son. Yoyes was a former member of ETA who had abandoned the armed struggle and rejoined civil society: they accused her of "desertion" because of her taking advantage of the Spanish reinserción policy which granted amnesty to those prisoners who publicly refused political violence (see below).

On 12 January 1988, all Basque political parties except ETA-affiliated Herri Batasuna
Batasuna
Batasuna was a Basque nationalist political party based mainly in Spain, where it was outlawed in 2003, after a court ruling declared proven that the party was financing ETA with public money. Batasuna is included in the "European Union list of terrorist persons and organizations" as a component...

 signed the Ajuria-Enea pact with the intent of ending ETA's violence. Weeks later on 28 January, ETA announced a 60-day "ceasefire", later prolonged several times. Negotiations known as the Mesa de Argel ("Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 Table") took place between the ETA representative Eugenio Etxebeste ("Antxon"), and the then PSOE government of Spain but no successful conclusion was reached, and ETA eventually resumed the use of violence.

During this period, the Spanish government had a policy referred to as "reinsertion", under which imprisoned ETA members whom the government believed had genuinely abandoned violence could be freed and allowed to rejoin society. Claiming a need to prevent ETA from coercively impeding this reinsertion, the PSOE government decided that imprisoned ETA members, who previously had all been imprisoned within the Basque Country, would instead be dispersed to prisons throughout Spain, some as far from their families as in the Salto del Negro prison in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

. France has taken a similar approach. In the event, the only clear effect of this policy was to incite social protest, especially from nationalists and families of the prisoners, claiming cruelty of separating family members from the insurgents. Much of the protest against this policy runs under the slogan "Euskal presoak – Euskal Herrira" (Basque prisoners to the Basque Country, by "Basque prisoners" only ETA members are meant). It has to be noted that almost in any Spanish jail there is a group of ETA prisoners, as the number of ETA prisoners makes it difficult to disperse them.
Gestoras pro-Amnistía/Amnistia Aldeko Batzordeak ("Pro-Amnesty Managing Assemblies", currently illegal), later Askatasuna
Askatasuna
Askatasuna is a Basque political party registered on the 31st August, 1998, outlawed in 2009....

("Freedom") and Senideak ("The family members") provided support for prisoners and families. The Basque Government
Basque Government
The Basque Government is the governing body of the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain. The head of this government is the lehendakari or Basque president that is appointed by the Basque Parliament every four years...

 and several Nationalist town halls granted money on humanitarian reasons for relatives to visit prisoners. The long road trips has caused accidental deaths that are protested against by ETA supporters.

During the ETA ceasefire of the late 1990s, the PSOE government brought back to the mainland the prisoners on the islands and in Africa. Since the end of the ceasefire, ETA prisoners have not been sent back to overseas prisons. Some Basque authorities have established grants for the expenses of visiting families.

Another Spanish "counter-terrorist" law puts suspected terrorist cases under the central tribunal Audiencia Nacional in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, due to the threats by the group over the Basque courts. Under Article 509 suspected terrorists are subject to being held "incommunicado" for up to thirteen days, during which they have no contact with the outside world other than through the court appointed lawyer, including informing their family of their arrest, consultation with private lawyers or examination by a physician other than the coroner
Coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

s. In comparison the habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

 term for other suspects is three days.

In 1992, ETA's three top leaders—"military" leader Francisco Mujika Garmendia ("Pakito"), political leader José Luis Alvarez Santacristina ("Txelis") and logistical leader José María Arregi Erostarbe ("Fiti"), often referred to collectively as the "cúpula" of ETA or as the Artapalo collective—were arrested in the northern Basque town of Bidart
Bidart
Bidart is a commune of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France.It is located in the traditional Basque province of Labourd.-References:* -External links:* Information available in Spanish...

, which led to changes in ETA's leadership and direction. After a two-month truce, ETA adopted even more radical positions. The principal consequence of the change appears to have been the creation of the "Y Groups", formed by young militants of ETA parallel organisations (generally minors
Minor (law)
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18...

), dedicated to so-called "kale borroka"—street struggle—and whose activities included burning buses, street lamps, benches, ATMs, garbage containers, and throwing Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

s. The appearance of these groups was attributed by many to the supposed weakness of ETA, which obliged them to resort to minors to maintain or augment their impact on society after arrests of leading militants, including the "cupola". ETA also began to menace leaders of other parties besides rival Basque nationalist parties.

In 1995, the armed organization again launched a peace proposal. The so-called "Democratic Alternative" replaced the earlier KAS Alternative as a minimum proposal for the establishment of Euskal Herria. The Democratic Alternative offered the cessation of all armed ETA activity if the Spanish-government would recognize the Basque people as having sovereignty over Basque territory, the right to self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 and that it freed all ETA members in prison. The Spanish government ultimately rejected this peace offer as it would go against the Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978
-Structure of the State:The Constitution recognizes the existence of nationalities and regions . Preliminary Title As a result, Spain is now composed entirely of 17 Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy, to the extent that, even though the Constitution...

. Changing the constitution was not considered.

Also in 1995 came a failed ETA car bombing attempt directed against José María Aznar
José María Aznar
José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

, a conservative politician who was leader of the then-opposition Partido Popular
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 (PP) and was shortly after elected to the presidency of the government; there was also an abortive attempt in Majorca on the life of King Juan Carlos I
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

. Still, the act with the largest social impact came the following year. 10 July 1997, PP council member Miguel Ángel Blanco
Miguel Ángel Blanco
Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido was a local Spanish politician for the People's Party, who was kidnapped and subsequently executed by the Basque terrorist group ETA.-Early life:...

 was kidnapped in the Basque town of Ermua
Ermua
Ermua is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain.-External links:* * *...

, with the separatist group threatening to assassinate him unless the Spanish government met ETA's demand of starting to bring all ETA's inmates to prisons of the Basque Country within two days after the kidnapping. This demand was not met by the Spanish government and after three days Miguel Ángel Blanco was found shot dead when the deadline expired. More than six million people took out to the streets to demand his liberation, with massive demonstrations occurring as much in the Basque regions as elsewhere in Spain, chanting cries of "Assassins" and "Basques yes, ETA no". This response came to be known as the "Spirit of Ermua".

Later came acts of violence such as the 6 November 2001, car bomb in Madrid, which injured sixty-five, and attacks on football stadiums and tourist destinations.

The 11 September 2001 attacks appeared to have dealt a hard blow to ETA, owing to the toughening of "antiterrorist" measures (such as the freezing of bank accounts), the increase in international police coordination, and the end of the toleration some countries had, up until then, extended to ETA. In addition, in 2002 the Basque nationalist youth movement Jarrai was outlawed and the law of parties was changed outlawing Herri Batasuna, the "political arm" of ETA (although even before the change in law, Batasuna had been largely paralysed and under judicial investigation by judge Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón Real is a Spanish jurist who served on Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional. He was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No...

).

With ever-increasing frequency, attempted ETA actions have been frustrated by Spanish security forces.

On Christmas Eve 2003, in San Sebastián and in Hernani
Hernani, Spain
Hernani is a town and municipality located in the province of Gipuzkoa, in the Basque Country, Spain. It is located at Latitude: 43° 16' 0N , Longitude: 1° 58' 0W. Hernani has an altitude of 200 ft .-External links:* and Basque.* Basque, , and ....

, National Police arrested two ETA members who had left dynamite in a railroad car prepared to explode in Chamartín Station
Chamartín Station
Madrid Chamartín is the name of the second major railway station in Madrid, Spain. Positioned on the north side of the city, it was built prior to the time of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, between 1970 and 1975, although subsequent work would be carried on into the early 1980s. At that time it...

 in Madrid. On 1 March 2004, in a place between Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

 and Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, a light truck with 536 kg of explosives was discovered by the Guardia Civil.

ETA was initially blamed for the 2004 Madrid bombings
11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings
The Madrid train bombings consisted of a series of coordinated bombings against the Cercanías system of Madrid, Spain on the morning of 11 March 2004 , killing 191 people and wounding 1,800...

 by the outgoing government and large sections of the press. However, the group denied responsibility and Islamic fundamentalists from Morocco were eventually convicted. The judicial investigation currently states that there is no relationship between ETA and the Madrid bombings.

2006 ceasefire declaration



In the context of negotiation with the Spanish government, ETA has declared what it has described as "truce" a number of times since its creation.

On 22 March 2006, ETA sent a DVD message to the Basque Network Euskal Irrati-Telebista and the journals Gara
Gara
Gara is a bilingual newspaper published in the city of San Sebastián in the Basque Autonomous Community...

and Berria
Berria
Berria is the only newspaper published wholly in the Basque language and which can be read in the entirety of the Basque country. It was created after the closure of the previous Basque language newspaper, Egunkaria, by the Spanish government, after being accused of having ties with ETA...

 with a communiqué from the organization announcing what it called a "permanent ceasefire" that was broadcast over Spanish TV.

Talks with the group were then officially opened by Spanish Presidente del Gobierno José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

.

These took place all over 2006, not free from incidents such as an ETA cell stealing some 300 handguns, ammunition and spare parts in France on October 2006. or a series of warnings made by ETA such as the one of 23 September, when masked ETA militants declared that the organization would "keep taking up arms" until achieving "independence and socialism in the Basque country", which were regarded by some as a way to increase pressure on the talks, by others as a tactic to reinforce ETA's position in the negotiations.

Finally, on 30 December 2006 ETA detonated a van bomb
2006 Madrid Barajas International Airport bombing
The 2006 Madrid-Barajas Airport bombing occurred on December 30, 2006 when a van bomb exploded in the parking of the Terminal 4 of the Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain, killing two and injuring 52. On January 9, 2007, the Basque nationalist and separatist organisation ETA claimed responsibility for...

 after three confusing warning calls, in a parking building at the Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 Barajas international airport. The explosion caused the collapse of the building and killed two Ecuadorian immigrants who were napping inside their cars in the parking building. At , José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero released a statement stating that the "peace process" had been discontinued.

Current events


In January 2008, ETA stated that its call for independence is similar to that of the Kosovo status and Scotland
Scottish independence
Scottish independence is a political ambition of political parties, advocacy groups and individuals for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom and become an independent sovereign state, separate from England, Wales and Northern Ireland....

.
In the week of 8 September 2008, two Basque political parties were banned by a Spanish court for their secretive links to ETA. In another case in the same week, 21 people were convicted whose work on behalf of ETA prisoners actually belied secretive links to the armed separatists themselves.ETA reacted to these actions by placing three major car bombs in less than 24 hours in northern Spain.

In April 2009 Jurdan Martitegi
Jurdan Martitegi
Jurdan Martitegi Lizaso is a member of the armed Basque nationalist and separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna . He is best known as the head of the military/commando unit of the group since late 2008 until April 18, 2009, when he was arrested by French police...

 was arrested, making the fourth consecutive ETA military chiefs to be captured within a single year, an unprecedented police record further weakening the group.

The group, and therefore the violence resurged in summer 2009, with several ETA attacks leaving three people dead and dozens injured around Spain. The Basque newspaper Gara
Gara
Gara is a bilingual newspaper published in the city of San Sebastián in the Basque Autonomous Community...

published an article that suggested that ETA member Jon Anza could had been killed and buried by Spanish police in April 2009. The central prosecutor in the French town of Bayonne, Anne Kayanakis, announced that the autopsy carried out on the body of Jon Anza – a suspected member of the armed Basque group ETA, missing since April 2009 – revealed no signs of having been beaten, wounded or shot, therefore ruling out any suspicions that he died from unnatural causes.

In December 2009, Spain raised its terror alert after warning that ETA could be planning major attacks or high-profile kidnappings during Spain's European Union presidency. The next day, after being asked by the opposition, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba is a Spanish politician and a leading figure in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He served in the government of Spain as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993 and as Minister of the Interior from 2006 to 2011; in addition, he was First Deputy Prime Minister from...

 said that warning was part of a strategy.

2010 ceasefire


On 5 September 2010, ETA declared a new ceasefire, its third, after two previous ceasefires were ended by the group. A spokesperson speaking on a video announcing the ceasefire said the organisation wished to use "peaceful, democratic means" to achieve its aims, though it was not specified whether the ceasefire was considered permanent by the group. ETA claimed that it had made the decision to initiate a ceasefire several months prior to the announcement. In part of the video, the spokesperson said that the group was "prepared today as yesterday to agree to the minimum democratic conditions necessary to put in motion a democratic process, if the Spanish government is willing."

The announcement was met with a mixed reaction; Basque nationalist politicians responded positively, and said that the Spanish and international governments should do the same, while the Spanish interior counselor of Basque, Rodolfo Ares, said that the commitment did not go far enough. He said that he considered ETA's statement "absolutely insufficient" because it did not commit to a complete termination of what Ares considered "terrorist activity" by the group.

2011 permanent ceasefire and cessation of armed activity


On 10 January 2011, ETA declared that their September 2010 ceasefire would be permanent and verifiable by international observers. Observers urged caution, pointing out that ETA had broken permanent ceasefires in the past, whereas Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

 (set to be replaced in December 2011 after the election of Mariano Rajoy in November) demanded that ETA declare that it had given up violence for once and for all. After the declaration, Spanish press started speculating of a possible Real IRA-type split within ETA, with hardliners forming a new more violent offshoot led by "Dienteputo".

On 20 October 2011, ETA announced a cessation of armed activity via video clip sent to media outlets following the Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference
Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference
The International Conference to Promote the Resolution of the Conflict in the Basque Country — more widely known as the Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference — was a conference aimed at promoting a resolution to the Basque conflict, which took place in Donostia-San Sebastián on...

, which was attended by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

, former Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

 of Ireland Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Patrick Bartholomew "Bertie" Ahern is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008....

, former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Gro Harlem Brundtland is a Norwegian Social democratic politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway , and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization...

 (an international leader in sustainable development and public health), former Interior Minister of France Pierre Joxe
Pierre Joxe
Pierre Joxe is a former French Socialist politician and has been a member of the Constitutional Council of France since 2001....

, president of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern...

 (a Teachta Dála
Teachta Dála
A Teachta Dála , usually abbreviated as TD in English, is a member of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas . It is the equivalent of terms such as "Member of Parliament" or "deputy" used in other states. The official translation of the term is "Deputy to the Dáil", though a more literal...

 in Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann is the lower house, but principal chamber, of the Oireachtas , which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann . It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote...

), and British diplomat Jonathan Powell, who served as the first Downing Street Chief of Staff. They all signed a final declaration that was supported also by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, the former US President and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, and the former US senator and former US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell
George J. Mitchell
George John Mitchell, Jr., is the former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration. A Democrat, Mitchell was a United States Senator who served as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995...

. The meeting did not include Spanish or French government representatives. The day after the ceasefire, in a contribution piece to the New York Times, Tony Blair indicated that lessons in dealing with terrorist groups can be learned from the way in which the Spanish administration handled the ETA. Blair wrote, “governments must firmly defend themselves, their principles and their people against terrorists. This requires good police and intelligence work as well as political determination. [However], firm security pressure on terrorists must be coupled with offering them a way out when they realize that they cannot win by violence. Terrorist groups are rarely defeated by military means alone” . Blair also suggested that Spain will need to discuss weapon decommissioning, peace strategies, reparations for victims, and security with the ETA, as Britain has discussed with Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 .

The ETA has declared ceasefires many times before, most significantly in 1999 and 2006, but the Spanish government and media outlets have expressed particularly hopeful opinions regarding the permanence of this most recent proclamation. Spanish premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

 described the move as "a victory for democracy, law and reason".Additionally, the effort of security and intelligence forces in Spain and France are celebrated by politicians as the primary instruments responsible for the weakening of the ETA . The optimism may come as a surprise considering ETA’s failure to renounce the independence movement, which has been one of the Spanish government’s requirements . In fact, ETA’s ceasefire video ended with the assertion that the struggle for the Basque homeland continues .

Less optimistic, the recently elected Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy Brey is a Spanish People's Party politician and is the Prime Minister-elect since 20 November 2011. He will be sworn into office in mid-December 2011....

, of the center-right People's Party (Spain)
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

, expressed the need to push for the full dissolution of the ETA . The Popular Party, another translation for the People's Party, has emphasized the obligation of the state to refuse negotiations with separatist movements since former Prime Minister José María Aznar
José María Aznar
José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

 was in office. Aznar was responsible for banning media outlets seen as subversive to the state and Batasuna, the political party of the ETA . Additionally, in preparation for his party’s manifesto, on 30 October 2011, Rajoy declared that the Popular Party will not negotiate with terrorists (ETA) under threats of violence nor announcements of the group’s termination, but will instead focus party efforts on remembering and honoring victims of terrorist violence .

Significantly, while the ETA pledged to refrain from a violent separatist movement, the separatist movement was not denounced. In fact, the ETA announcement reinforced the struggle for the Basque homeland, but through the use of democratic means . It is crucial to understand that this event may not alter the goals of the Basque separatist movement, but will change the method of the fight for a more autonomous state. Negotiations with the newly elected administration may prove difficult with the return to the center-right Popular Party, which is replacing Socialist control, due to pressure from within the party to refuse all ETA negotiations .

Targets, tactics and attacks


Their aspiration, which was outlined in 1995 in their Democratic Alternative publication, is to force the governments of Spain and France to agree on the following:
  • Recognition of the right to "self-determination and territoriality" for Euskal Herria.
  • That the Basque citizenry are the "unique subject" ("subject" in the sense of "one who acts") to make decisions about the future of the Basque Country.
  • Amnesty
    Amnesty
    Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

     for all members, whether prisoners or self-imposed exiles.
  • Respect for "the results of the democratic process in the Basque Country"
  • "Total ceasefire" once these points are guaranteed through a political agreement.


The organization has adopted from time to time other secondary tactical causes such as fighting against:
  • Alleged heroin traffickers, as "corruptors of Basque youth" and police collaborators, a fix for a tip
    Informant
    An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

    .
  • The nuclear power plant
    Nuclear power plant
    A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

     facilities at Lemoniz (Biscay). In the early 1980s, when the Basque ecologist movement opposed this project
    Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant
    Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant was a nuclear power plant under construction in Lemoniz, Spain in 1983 when the Spanish nuclear power expansion program was cancelled following a change of government...

    , ETA joined this point of view and started a series of attacks against the power plant. Five workers were assassinated by the organization, including the execution of a kidnapped engineer Jose Maria Ryan. The site remains deserted. Besides the ecological risk, ETA's objection to the power plant was its implicit reliance on the Spanish Government for support and maintenance for thousands of years to come.
  • The A-15
    Autovía A-15
    The Autovía A-15 is a highway in Spain from Tudela to San Sebastián.The road sets off in the N-I from Andoain, south of San Sebastián. It heads south east by the Aralar Range crossing the green mountainous region of north-eastern Navarre past the stream Larraun until Irurtzun, where a more rolling...

     highway which was to run through the Leizaran Valley between Navarre and Guipuzcoa. It was inaugurated in 1995, during the construction four people related to the construction were killed by ETA, and over pesetas were spent by public institutions to cover the losses.
  • The so called Basque Y
    Basque Y
    Basque Y is the name given to the Spanish high-speed rail network being built between the three cities of the Basque Country autonomous community; Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.-Characteristics:...

    , a plan to make the AVE
    AVE
    Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

     high-speed railways connect the three capital cities of the Basque Autonomous Community. In December 2008, the group killed Ignacio Uria Mendizabal
    Ignacio Uria Mendizabal
    Ignacio Uría Mendizábal was a Spanish Basque businessman and head of construction company, Altuna y Uría.Uría was shot dead on December 3, 2008 outside of a restaurant. The attack was blamed on ETA. He had received threats from ETA. Uría had been working on a high-speed train route between the...

    , the Basque owner of one of the companies working in this project. In January 2009, ETA threatened that engineers, senior technicians and executives of companies involved in the construction of the high-speed train line would be targets for assassination as well.

Targets


ETA's targets have expanded from the former military/police-related personnel and their families, to a wider array, which today includes the following:


  • Spanish military and police personnel, active duty or retired. The barracks of the Guardia Civil also provide housing for their families, thus, attacks on the barracks have also resulted in deaths of relatives, including children. As the regional police (Ertzaintza
    Ertzaintza
    The Ertzaintza , is the police force of the Basque Country, one of the autonomous communities of Spain. An Ertzaintza member is an ertzaina .- Origins :...

     in the Basque Country and Mossos d'Esquadra
    Mossos d'Esquadra
    The Mossos d'Esquadra are the police force of Catalonia, one of the autonomous communities of Spain. It is the oldest civil police force in Europe, founded in the 18th century as the Esquadres de Catalunya to protect the people of Catalonia....

     in Catalonia) took a greater role in combating ETA, they were added to their list of targets.
  • Businessmen (such as Javier Ybarra
    Javier Ybarra Bergé
    Javier de Ybarra y Bergé was a Basque industrialist, writer, and politician from Bilbao.Born into a prominent Bilbao family, Javier Ybarra attended the University of Deusto. During the Spanish Second Republic he was affiliated with the Partido Nacionalista Español and then the monarchist...

    , Joxe Mari Korta or Ignacio Uria Mendizabal
    Ignacio Uria Mendizabal
    Ignacio Uría Mendizábal was a Spanish Basque businessman and head of construction company, Altuna y Uría.Uría was shot dead on December 3, 2008 outside of a restaurant. The attack was blamed on ETA. He had received threats from ETA. Uría had been working on a high-speed train route between the...

    ): these are mainly targeted in order to extort
    Extortion
    Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

     them for the so-called "revolutionary tax
    Revolutionary tax
    Revolutionary tax is a major form of funding for violent non-state actors such as guerrilla and terrorist organizations. Those outside the organization may consider it to be a euphemism for "protection money"....

    ". Refusal to pay has been punished with assassinations, kidnappings for ransom or bombings of their business.
  • Prison officers such as José Antonio Ortega Lara.
  • Elected parliamentarians, city councillors and ex-councillors, politicians in general: most prominently Luis Carrero Blanco
    Luis Carrero Blanco
    Don Luis Carrero Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero Blanco, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish admiral and long-time confidant of dictator Francisco Franco.- Biography :...

    , killed in 1973). Dozens of politicians belonging to the People's Party
    People's Party (Spain)
    The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

     (PP) and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
    Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
    The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

     (PSOE) have been assassinated or maimed. Some Basque nationalist politicians from the PNV party, such as Juan Mari Atutxa, have also received threats. Hundreds of politicians in Spain require a constant bodyguard service. Bodyguards are contingent victims as well. In 2005 ETA announced that it would no longer "target" elected politicians. Nonetheless, ETA killed ex-council member Isaías Carrasco
    Isaías Carrasco
    Isaías Carrasco was a Basque politician, affiliated with the PSE. He was shot dead when he left his house in Tolosa de Mondragón on March 7, 2008, two days ahead of general elections in Spain, in what is believed to be an attack by ETA....

     in Mondragon/Arrasate
    Mondragón
    Arrasate or Mondragón - is a town and municipality in Gipuzkoa province, Basque Country, Spain...

     on 7 March 2008.



  • Judges and prosecutors. Particularly threatened are the members of the Spanish anti-terrorist court: the Audiencia Nacional.
  • University professors who publicly express ideas that counter armed Basque separatism: such as Manuel Broseta or Francisco Tomás y Valiente. In the latter case, the shooting resulted in more than half a million people protesting against ETA.
  • Journalists: some of these professionals began to be labeled by ETA as targets starting with the killing of journalist José Luis López de la Calle, assassinated in May 2000.
  • Economic targets: a wide array of private or public property considered valuable assets of Spain, especially railroads, tourist sites, industries, or malls.
  • Exceptionally, ETA has also assassinated former ETA members such as Maria Dolores González Catarain as a reprisal for having left the organization.
  • A number of ETA attacks by car bomb have caused random civilian casualties, like ETA's bloodiest attack, the bombing in 1987
    1987 Hipercor bombing
    The 1987 Hipercor bombing was a car bomb attack by the Basque separatist organisation ETA which occurred on 19 June 1987 at the Hipercor shopping centre on Avinguda Meridiana, Barcelona, Spain. The bombing killed 21 people and injured 45 people.-Background:...

     of the subterranean parking lot of the Hipercor supermarket in Barcelona which killed 21 civilians and left 45 seriously wounded, of whom 20 were left disabled; also the attack of Plaza de Callao in Madrid.

Tactics


ETA's tactics include:
  • Direct attacks: killing by shooting the victim in the nape
    Nape
    The nape is the back of the neck. In technical anatomical/medical terminology, the nape is referred to by the word nucha, which also gives the adjective corresponding to "nape" in English, "nuchal"....

    .
  • Bombings (often with car bomb
    Car bomb
    A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

    s). When the bombs target individuals for assassination they are made by rigging their cars with a bomb. The detonating systems vary: they rarely are manually ignited, but wired so the bomb may explode at ignition or when the car goes over a set speed limit. These bombs have sometimes killed family members of ETA's target victim and bystanders. When the bombs are car-bombs seeking to produce large damage and terror, they are generally announced by one or more telephone calls made to newspapers speaking in the name of ETA. Charities (usually Detente Y Ayuda—DYA) have also been used to announce the threat if the bomb is in a populated area. The type of explosives used in these attacks were initially Goma-2
    Goma-2
    Goma-2 Eco is a type of high explosive manufactured for industrial use by Unión Española de Explosivos S.A.It is a gelatinous, Nitroglycol-based explosive widely used within Spain and exported abroad.It was used by ETA in the 1980s and 1990s....

     or self-produced ammonal
    Ammonal
    Ammonal is an explosive made up of ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene , and aluminium powder.The ammonium nitrate functions as an oxidizer and aluminium as a power enhancer. To some extent the aluminium makes it more sensitive to detonation...

    . After a number of successful robberies in France, ETA began using Titadyne.
  • Shells
    Shell (projectile)
    A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot . Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used...

    : hand-made mortars
    Mortar (weapon)
    A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

     (the Jo ta ke model) have been used occasionally to attack military or police bases. Their lack of precision is probably the reason they are not used anymore.
  • Anonymous threats: often delivered in the Basque Country by placards or graffiti. Such threats have forced many people into hiding or into exile from the Basque Country, and have been used to prevent people from freely expressing political ideas other than Basque nationalist ones.
  • Extortion
    Extortion
    Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

     or blackmail: called by ETA a "revolutionary tax", ETA demands money from a business owner in the Basque Country or elsewhere in Spain, under threats to him and his family, up to and including death threats. Occasionally some French Basques have also been threatened in this manner, such as footballer Bixente Lizarazu
    Bixente Lizarazu
    Bixente Lizarazu is a former football left defender who played most notably for Girondins de Bordeaux and Bayern Munich, as well as the French national team.-Football career:...

    . ETA moves the extorted funds to accounts in Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

     and other fiscal havens. According to French judiciary sources, ETA exacts an estimated 900,000 euros a year in this manner.
  • Kidnapping: often as a punishment for failing to pay the blackmail known as "revolutionary tax", but also has been used to try to force the government to free ETA's prisoners under the threat of killing the kidnapped, as in the kidnapping and subsequent execution of Miguel Angel Blanco
    Miguel Ángel Blanco
    Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido was a local Spanish politician for the People's Party, who was kidnapped and subsequently executed by the Basque terrorist group ETA.-Early life:...

    . ETA hides the kidnapped in underground chambers without windows, denominated zulos, of very reduced dimensions for extended periods. Also, people robbed of their vehicles are usually tied and abandoned in an isolated place to allow those who assaulted them to escape.
  • Robbery: ETA members rob weapons, explosives, machines for license plates and vehicles.

Activity


With its attacks against what they consider "enemies of the Basque people", ETA has killed over 820 people since 1968 to date, including more than 340 civilians. It has maimed hundreds more and kidnapped dozens.

Its ability to inflict violence has declined steadily since the group was at its strongest during the late 1970s and 1980 (when it managed to kill 92 people in a single year). After decreasing peaks in the fatal casualties in 1987 and 1991, 2000 remains to date as the last year when ETA could kill more than 20 in a single year. Since 2002 to date, the yearly number of ETA's fatal casualties has been reduced to single digits.

Similarly, over the 1990s and, especially, during the 2000s, fluid cooperation between the French and Spanish police, state of the art tracking devices and techniques and, apparently, police infiltration
Mole (espionage)
A mole is a spy who works for an enemy nation, but whose loyalty ostensibly lies with his own nation's government. In some usage, a mole differs from a defector in that a mole is a spy before gaining access to classified information, while a defector becomes a spy only after gaining access...

 have allowed increasingly repeating blows to ETA's leadership and structure (between May 2008 and April 2009 no less than four consecutive "military chiefs" were arrested).

ETA operates mainly in Spain, particularly in the Basque Country, Navarre, and (to a lesser degree) Madrid, Barcelona, and the tourist areas of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. To date, about 65% of ETA's killings have been committed in the Basque Country
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, also called Historical Territories....

, followed by Madrid
Madrid (autonomous community)
The Community of Madrid is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. It is located at the center of the country, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Castilian Central Plateau . The community is also conterminous with the province of Madrid and contains the capital of Spain, which is also...

 with roughly 15%. Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

 and Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 also register significant numbers.

Actions in France usually consist of assaults on arsenals or military industries in order to steal weapons or explosives; these are usually stored in large quantities in hide-outs located in the French Basque Country rather than Spain. The French judge Laurence Le Vert has been threatened by ETA and a plot arguably aiming to assassinate her was unveiled. Only very rarely have ETA members engaged in shootings with the French Gendarmerie
Gendarmerie
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

. This has often occurred mainly when members of the organization were confronted at checkpoints.

In spite of this, ETA killed in France on 1 December 2007, two Spanish Civil Guards on counter-terrorist surveillance duties in Capbreton
Capbreton
Capbreton is a commune of around 7500 inhabitants in the Landes department in Aquitaine in south-western France. Located at the mouth of the Boudigau and Bourret rivers, the town is situated about 40 km to the north of Biarritz.The town is a popular holiday destination for sailers, surfers,...

, Landes. This has been its first killing after it ended its 2006 declaration of "permanent ceasefire" and the first killing committed by ETA in France of a Spanish police agent ever since 1976, when they kidnapped, tortured and assassinated two Spanish inspectors in Hendaye
Hendaye
Hendaye is the most south-westerly town and commune in France, lying in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department and located in the traditional province Lapurdi of the French Basque Country...

.

Financing


More recently, 2007 police reports point out that, after the serious blows suffered by ETA and its political counterparts during the 2000s, its budget would have been adjusted to 2,000,000 euros annually.

Although ETA used robbery as a means of financing its activities in its early days, it has since been accused both of arms trafficking and of benefiting economically from its political counterpart Batasuna. Extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 remains ETA's main source of funds.

Basque Nationalist context


ETA is considered to form part of what is informally known as the Basque National Liberation Movement
Basque National Liberation Movement
The Basque National Liberation Movement is an umbrella term that comprises all social, political and armed organizations orbiting around the ideas of the illegal armed organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna , proscribed internationally as a terrorist organisation.The wide variety of organizations and...

, a movement born much after ETA's creation. This loose term refers to a range of political organizations that are ideologically akin, comprising several distinct organizations that promote a type of leftist
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 Basque nationalism that is often referred to by the Basque-language term Ezker Abertzale
Abertzale
Abertzale in the Basque language means "patriot", and it is mainly used to mean "Basque nationalist". It comes from the fusion of aberri with the suffix -zale .Although the term is synonym of "patriot", its common use...

a
(Nationalist Left). Other groups typically considered to belong to this independentist movement are: the political party Batasuna
Batasuna
Batasuna was a Basque nationalist political party based mainly in Spain, where it was outlawed in 2003, after a court ruling declared proven that the party was financing ETA with public money. Batasuna is included in the "European Union list of terrorist persons and organizations" as a component...

, the nationalist youth organization Segi
SEGI
Segi is a Basque pro-independence and revolutionary left-wing organization. It forms part of the Basque National Liberation Movement and is aligned with Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak and Batasuna....

, the labour union Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak
Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak
LAB is a Basque nationalist trade union operating mainly in Spain currently led by Ainhoa Etxaide.It was created in 1974 by Jon Idigoras among others...

 (LAB), and Askatasuna
Askatasuna
Askatasuna is a Basque political party registered on the 31st August, 1998, outlawed in 2009....

 among others. There are often strong interconnections between these groups, double or even triple membership are not infrequent.

There are Basque nationalist parties with similar goals as those of ETA (namely, independence) but who openly reject their violent means. They are: EAJ-PNV, Eusko Alkartasuna
Eusko Alkartasuna
Eusko Alkartasuna is a Basque nationalist political party operating in Spain and France. The Basque language name means Basque Solidarity and abbreviated as EA. The party describes itself as a Basque nationalist, democratic, popular, progressive and non-denominational party...

, Aralar
Aralar Party
Aralar is a Basque socialist and separatist political party in Spain. The party is led by Patxi Zabaleta. It is opposed to the violent struggle of ETA....

 and, in the French Basque country, Abertzaleen Batasuna
Abertzaleen Batasuna
Abertzaleen Batasuna is a Basque political party in France.It is the largest Basque nationalist party of the French Basque Country gathering around 10% of the votes in this territory. Its immediate goal is the establishment of a Pays Basque département out of Pyrénées-Atlantiques...

. In addition a number of left-wing parties, such as Ezker Batua
United Left (Spain)
The United Left is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 bringing together several political organisations opposed to Spain joining NATO. It was formed by a number of groups of leftists, greens, left-wing socialists and republicans, but was dominated by the Communist Party of Spain...

, Batzarre
Batzarre
Batzarre is a political party in Navarre, Spain. It has a branch in the Basque Autonomous Community known as Zutik....

 and some sectors of the EAJ-PNV party, also support self-determination but are not in favour of independence.

French role


Historically, members of ETA have taken refuge in France, particularly the French Basque Country. The leadership have typically chosen to live in France for security reasons, where police pressure is much less than in Spain. Accordingly, ETA's tactical approach had been to downplay the issue of independence of the French Basque country so as to get French acquiescence for their activities. The French government quietly tolerated the group, especially during Franco's regime, when ETA members could face the death penalty in Spain. In the 1980s, the advent of the GAL
Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación
Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación were death squads established illegally by officials of the Spanish government to fight ETA, the principal Basque separatist militant group. They were active from 1983 until 1987, under Spanish Socialist Workers Party -led governments...

 still hindered counter-terrorist cooperation between the France and Spain, with the French government considering ETA a Spanish domestic problem. At the time, ETA members often travelled to and from between the two countries using the French sanctuary as a base for operations.

With the disbanding of the GAL, the French government considered that detainees' rights were being adequately defended in Spain. France changed its position in the matter and initiated in the 1990s the ongoing period of active cooperation with the Spanish government against ETA, including fast-track transfers of detainees to Spanish tribunals that are regarded as fully compliant with European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 legislation in human rights and the legal representation of detainees. Virtually all of the highest ranks within ETA –including their successive "military", "political" or finances chiefs– have been captured in French territory, from where they had been plotting their activities after having crossed the border from Spain.

In response to the new situation, ETA carried out attacks against French policemen and made threats to some French judges and prosecutors. This implied a change from the organization's previous low-profile in the French Basque Country, which successive ETA leaders had used to discreetly managing their activities in Spain.

Government response


ETA considers its prisoners political prisoner
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

s. Until 2003, ETA consequently forbade them to ask penal authorities for progression to tercer grado (a form of open prison
Open prison
An open prison is an informal description applied to any penal establishment in which the prisoners are trusted to serve their sentences with minimal supervision and perimeter security and so do not need to be locked up in prison cells...

 that allows single-day or weekend furlough
Furlough
In the United States a furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of some employees due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole...

s) or parole. Before that date, those who did so were menaced and expelled from the group. Some were assassinated by ETA for leaving the organisation and going through reinsertion programs.

A more recent tactic of the Spanish Governments' campaign against ETA has been to target its social support network. The most important measure has been the passing of the Ley de Partidos Políticos. This is a law barring political parties which support violence and do not condemn terrorist actions or are involved with terrorist groups. The law has resulted in the banning of Herri Batasuna and its successor parties unless they condemn explicitly terrorist actions and, at times, imprisoning or trying some of its leaders who have been indicted for cooperation with ETA.

Judge Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón Real is a Spanish jurist who served on Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional. He was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No...

 has initiated a judicial procedure (coded as 18/98), aimed towards the support structure of ETA. This procedure started in 1998 with the preventive closure of the newspaper Egin
Egin (newspaper)
Egin was a Basque newspaper written in Spanish language and Basque language. It was published from Hernani by Orain SA, which also ran the radio station Egin Irratia.Its first issue was published on September 29, 1977....

(and its associated radio-station Egin Irratia), accused of being linked to ETA, and temporary imprisoning the editor of its "investigative unit", Pepe Rei, under similar accusations. In August 1999 Judge Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón
Baltasar Garzón Real is a Spanish jurist who served on Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional. He was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No...

 authorized the reopening of the newspaper and the radio, but they could not reopen due to economic difficulties.

Judicial procedure 18/98 has many ramifications, including the following:
  • A trial against a little-known organization called Xaki, acquitted in 2001 as the "international network" of ETA.
  • A trial against the youths' movement Jarrai-Haika-Segi, accused of contributing to street violence in an organized form and in connivance with ETA.
  • Another trial against Pepe Rei and his new investigation magazine Ardi Beltza (Black Sheep). The magazine was also closed down.
  • A trial against the political organization Ekin (Action), accused of promoting civil disobedience
    Civil disobedience
    Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

    .
  • A trial against the organization Joxemi Zumalabe Fundazioa, which was once again accused of promoting civil disobedience.
  • A trial against the prisoner support movement Amnistiaren Aldeko Komiteak.
  • A trial against Batasuna
    Batasuna
    Batasuna was a Basque nationalist political party based mainly in Spain, where it was outlawed in 2003, after a court ruling declared proven that the party was financing ETA with public money. Batasuna is included in the "European Union list of terrorist persons and organizations" as a component...

     and the Herriko Tabernak (people's taverns), accused of acting as a network of meeting centres for members and supporters of ETA. Batasuna was outlawed in all forms. Most taverns continue working normally as their ownership is not directly linked to Batasuna.
  • A trial against the league of Basque-language academies AEK. The case was dropped in 2001.
  • Another trial against Ekin, accusing Iker Casnova of managing the finances of ETA.
  • A trial against the association of Basque municipalities Udalbiltza.
  • The closing of the newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria in 2003 and the imprisonment and trial of its editor, Martxelo Otamendi, due to links with ETA accounting and fundraising, and other journalists (some of whom reported torture).


, indicted members of the youth movements Haika, Segi and Jarrai have been found guilty (January 2007) of a crime of connivance
Connivance
A legal finding of connivance may be made when an accuser has assisted in the act about which they are complaining. In some legal jurisdictions, and for certain behaviors, it may prevent the accuser from prevailing....

 with terrorism. Most of the other trials are still under process.

On Tuesday 20 May 2008, leading ETA figures were arrested in Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France. Francisco Javier López Peña
Francisco Javier Lopez Pena
Francisco Javier López Peña alias Thierry, is an ETA member. He headed the political leadership of the group. On the 20th of May, 2008, López Peña was arrested in Bordeaux, France during a joint operation between French and Spanish police officials.-ETA activity:López Peña has been on the run from...

, also known as 'Thierry,' had been on the run for twenty years before his arrest. A final total of arrests brought in six people, including ETA members and supporters, including the ex-Mayor of Andoain
Andoain
Andoain is a town located in the province of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, in the north of Spain. Nowadays it has a population above 13,000 inhabitants, which has been decreasing since 1981....

, José Antonio Barandiarán, who is rumoured to have led police to 'Thierry'. The Spanish Interior Ministry claimed the relevance of the arrests would come in time with the investigation. Furthermore, the Interior Minister said that those members of ETA now arrested had ordered the latest attacks, and that senior ETA member Francisco Javier López Peña was "not just another arrest because he is, in all probability, the man who has most political and military weight in the terrorist group."

After Lopez Pena's arrest, along with the Basque referendum
Basque referendum, 2008
The proposed 2008 referendum was a poll intended to occur in the Basque Country in that year, but prevented by the Spanish government. The poll was to be a consultative referendum, in which two questions were put to the electorate, concerning self-determination from Spain...

 being put on hold, police work has been on the rise. On 22 July 2008, Spanish police dismantled the most active cell of ETA by detaining nine suspected members of the group. Interior Minister
Interior minister
An interior ministry is a government ministry typically responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters. The ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior or minister of home affairs...

 Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba is a Spanish politician and a leading figure in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He served in the government of Spain as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993 and as Minister of the Interior from 2006 to 2011; in addition, he was First Deputy Prime Minister from...

 said about the arrests: "We can't say this is the only ETA unit but it was the most active, most dynamic and of course the most wanted one." Four days later French police also arrested two suspects believed to be tied to the same active cell. The two suspects were: Asier Eceiza, considered a top aide to a senior ETA operative still sought by police, and Olga Comes, whom authorities have linked to the ETA suspects.

International response


The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

 list ETA as a terrorist organization in their relevant watch lists. The United Kingdom lists ETA as a terrorist group under the Terrorism Act 2000
Terrorism Act 2000
The Terrorism Act 2000 is the first of a number of general Terrorism Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It superseded and repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland Act 1996...

. The Canadian Parliament
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 listed ETA as a terrorist organization in 2003.

France and Spain have often shown co-operation in the fight against ETA, despite France's lack of co-operation during the Franco era. In late 2007, two Spanish guards were shot to death in France when on a joint operation with their French counterparts. Furthermore, in May 2008, the arrests of four persons in Bordeaux led to a major breakthrough against ETA, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry.

On 2 October 2008, as ETA activity increased, France increased its pressure on ETA by arresting more ETA suspects, including Unai Fano, María Lizarraga on 23 September. and Esteban Murillo Zubiri, brother of Gabriel Zuburi), in Bidarrain. He had been wanted by the Spanish authorities since 2007 when a Europol
Europol
Europol is the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. It became fully operational on 1 July 1999....

 arrest warrant was issued against him. French judicial authorities had already ordered that he be held in prison on remand.

Spain has also sought cooperation from the United Kingdom in dealing with ETA-IRA ties. In November 2008, this came to light when Iñaki de Juana Chaos
Iñaki de Juana Chaos
José Ignacio de Juana Chaos , better known as Iñaki de Juana Chaos, is a member of the Basque separatist group ETA. He was convicted of killing 25 people in 1987 and was originally sentenced to 3,000 years in prison. As a result of complicated sentencing guidelines, he became eligible for release...

, who had recently been released from prison, moved to Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

. He was thought to be staying at an IRA safe house while being sought by the Spanish authorities. Interpol notified the judge, Eloy Velasco, that he was in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

.

Disbanded violent groups

  • Anti-ETA groups:
    • Acción Nacional Española
    • ATE (Anti-Terrorismo ETA)
    • Batallón Vasco Español
      Batallón Vasco Español
      The Batallón Vasco Español was a Spanish Basque right-wing paramilitary group active from 1975 to 1981, primarily in French Basque Country.The BVE employed violence mainly against Basque separatist groups....

    • Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación
      Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación
      Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación were death squads established illegally by officials of the Spanish government to fight ETA, the principal Basque separatist militant group. They were active from 1983 until 1987, under Spanish Socialist Workers Party -led governments...

      (GAL)
    • Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey
      Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey
      Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey was a Spanish paramilitary group that operated in the late 1970s.They emerged at a time of factionism within the Carlist movement. Historically Carlism was a traditionalist, legitimist and Catholic movement, supporting a different monarchial line to the one occupying the...

  • Minor Basque nationalist and radical left wing groups:
    • Iparretarrak
      Iparretarrak
      Iparretarrak or IK was a Basque nationalist terrorist organization operating in the French Basque Country.It was founded in 1973 by Philippe Bidart, to date, 1982 remains as their most active year, with 32 attacks; despite having mostly targeted tourist developments, it has also assassinated a...

    • Iraultza
      Iraultza
      Iraultza, meaning Revolution in the Basque language, was a small Basque militant armed group of the Trotskyist tendency that may be remembered for being the only one of its kind not to have killed anyone except three of its own members, who died preparing an explosive device in the early 1990s...

    • Comandos Autónomos Anticapitalistas
      Comandos Autónomos Anticapitalistas
      The Comandos Autónomos Anticapitalistas were a Basque armed group with Autonomist Marxist politics, defined as an anarchistic breakaway of ETA....

    • Euskal Zuzentasuna
    • Hordago

International links

  • ETA is known to have had 'fraternal' contacts with the Provisional Irish Republican Army
    Provisional Irish Republican Army
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

    ; the two groups have both, at times, characterized their struggles as parallel. Links between the two groups go back to at least March 1974. ETA purchased Strela 2
    Strela 2
    The 9K32 “Strela-2” is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance...

     surface-to-air missiles from the IRA and in 2001 unsuccessfully attempted to shoot down a jet carrying the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar
    José María Aznar
    José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

    . It has also had links with other militant left-wing movements in Europe and in other places throughout the world.
  • In 1999 ETA commandos teamed up with the (now self-dissolved) Breton Revolutionary Army
    Breton Revolutionary Army
    The Breton Revolutionary Army , is an illegal armed organization that is part of the Breton nationalism movement in the Brittany region of France.-I- Origins of the conflict:...

     to steal explosives from magazines in Brittany
    Brittany
    Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

    .
  • The Colombian government stated that there are contacts between ETA and the Colombian guerrillas FARC. The recent capture of FARC's leaders computers, and leaked email exchanges between both groups, show that ETA members received training from FARC. Apparently FARC asked for help from ETA in order to conduct future attacks in Spain, but the Anncol news agency later denied it, clarifying that the Spanish capital Madrid had been confused with a city in northern Colombia also named Madrid. Following a judicial investigation, it was reported that FARC and ETA held meetings in Colombia, exchanging information about combat tactics and methods of activating explosives through mobile phones. The two organizations were said to have met at least three times. One of the meetings involved two ETA representatives and two FARC leaders, at a FARC camp, and lasted for a week in 2003. FARC also offered to hide ETA fugitives while requesting anti-air missiles, as well as asking for ETA to supply medical experts who could work at FARC prison camps for more than a year. In addition, and more controversially, FARC also asked ETA to stage attacks and kidnappings on its behalf in Europe.
  • Italian author and mafia
    Mafia
    The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

     specialist Roberto Saviano
    Roberto Saviano
    Roberto Saviano is an Italian writer and journalist.In his writings, articles, television programs, and books he employs prose and news-reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra , exposing its territory and business connections.Since 2006, following the publication of his bestselling...

     points to a relationship of the group with the mafia. According to this view, ETA trafficks cocaine
    Cocaine
    Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

     which it gets via its FARC contacts, then trades it with the mafia for guns.
  • Some ex-militants have received political asylum in Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Venezuela
    Venezuela
    Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

    .
  • Several ex-militants were sent from France through Panama
    Panama
    Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

     to reside in Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

     after an agreement of the Spanish government (under Felipe González
    Felipe González
    Felipe González Márquez is a Spanish socialist politician. He was the General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party from 1974 to 1997. To date, he remains the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain, after having served four successive mandates from 1982 to 1996.-Early life:Felipe was...

    ) with Cuba. The United States Department of State
    United States Department of State
    The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

     has no information on their activities on Cuban territory.

Documentary films

, about the families of Basque politician Fernando Buesa
Fernando Buesa
Fernando Buesa Blanco was a Spanish Basque politician in the Basque Christian Democracy and in the Socialist Party of Euskadi - Euskadiko Ezkerra branch of the social democratic Spanish Socialist Workers' Party...

 and his bodyguard, both killed by ETA.
  • The Basque Ball: The Skin Against the Stone, (La Pelota Vasca, 2003) about the Basque conflict by filmmaker Julio Medem
    Julio Medem
    Julio Médem is a Spanish writer and film director.Medem was born in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain and showed an interest in movies since childhood, when he would take his father's Super 8 camera and shoot at night, while nobody was paying attention...

    : interviews about Basque nationalism and politics. Includes testimonials of ETA victims and relatives of ETA prisoners., Eterio Ortega and Elías Querejeta
    Elías Querejeta
    Elías Querejeta is a Spanish film producer.-Biography:He was a soccer player in Real Sociedad.Father of Gracia Querejeta. He has produced the best of Spanish films in 60's and 70's. He has worked with Carlos Saura in 11 films, Víctor Erice in 2 films, Montxo Armendáriz in 4 times or Fernando León...

     interview local councillors threatened by ETA., the testimony of some of ETA's victims in the last 30 years by filmmaker Iñaki Arteta.
  • 48 horas: A movie about the kidnapping of Miguel Angel Blanco and his subsequent murder
  • ETA. Une histoire basque
    ETA. Une histoire basque
    ETA. Une histoire basque is a 2007 French documentary film directed by Richard Vargas about ETA's history, it's terroristic activity, social background and influence on Spain's recent history....

    , about the history of ETA

Other fact-based films about ETA

  • Commando Txikia (José Luis Madrid, 1977)
  • Operación Ogro
    Operación Ogro (film)
    Operación Ogro is a 1979 Spanish and Italian drama film written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.The film is based on true events, following the eponymous book by Julen Aguirre .The film won David di Donatello as Best Film....

    (Operation Ogre
    Ogre
    An ogre is a large, cruel, monstrous, and hideous humanoid monster, featured in mythology, folklore, and fiction. Ogres are often depicted in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings, and have appeared in many classic works of literature...

    , 1979), Gillo Pontecorvo
    Gillo Pontecorvo
    Gillo Pontecorvo was an Italian filmmaker. He worked as a film director for more than a decade before his best known film La battaglia di Algeri was released...

    's film about the murder of Luis Carrero Blanco.
  • El proceso de Burgos ("The Burgos Trial", Imanol Uribe, 1979), ETA prisoners escape from the Segovia
    Segovia
    Segovia is a city in Spain, the capital of Segovia Province in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is situated north of Madrid, 30 minutes by high speed train. The municipality counts some 55,500 inhabitants.-Etymology:...

     prison. ("The Trial of ETA", Manuel Macià, 1988)
  • Yoyes
    Yoyes
    Yoyes is a 2000 Spanish film directed by Helena Taberna. The film is a political drama, a fictionalized reconstruction of the life of Dolores González Catarain , a woman member of ETA, who was targeted by that organization upon her return to the Basque Country.-Synopsis :In the early 1970s, during...

    , María Dolores Katarain, also known as Yoyes, tries to abandon ETA and is murdered by her former fellows.
  • El lobo, based on the life of Mikel Lejarza
    Mikel Lejarza
    Mikel Lejarza Eguía was a member of the Spanish intelligence service. During the 1970s, he worked undercover as a double agent infiltrating the Basque separatist organisation ETA. The secret service knew him by the nickname El Lobo...

    , who, prompted by the Spanish police, entered ETA to be a double agent
    Double agent
    A double agent, commonly abbreviated referral of double secret agent, is a counterintelligence term used to designate an employee of a secret service or organization, whose primary aim is to spy on the target organization, but who in fact is a member of that same target organization oneself. They...

    ., about the journalistic research leading to the uncovering of the state-supported GAL.
  • Tiro en la Cabeza (2008) (A bullet in the head), about the life of a ETA member the day he will kill two Spanish Policemen in Capbreton, France. ("A Bullet for the King", March 2009) about ETA's failed plot to murder Juan Carlos I during his holidays in Majorca in 1995.

Fictional films featuring ETA members and actions

  • El caso Almería ("The Almería Case", Pedro Costa
    Pedro Costa
    Pedro Costa is a Portuguese film director.He is acclaimed for using his ascetic style to depict the marginalised people in desperate living situations...

    , 1983)
  • La Muerte de Mikel
    La Muerte de Mikel
    La Muerte de Mikel is a 1984 Spanish film directed by Imanol Uribe, starring Imanol Arias. The film tells in flash back, the story of a gay member of ETA who died under mysterious circumstances.-Plot:The film opens at Mikel's funeral mass...

    ("The Death of Mikel", Imanol Uribe
    Imanol Uribe
    Imanol Uribe is an award-winning Spanish screenwriter and film director.He was born in San Salvador, and is of Basque ancestry. Uribe was married to María Barranco...

    , 1983). A young Basque man dies in a plot involving ETA and drug traffic.
  • Goma 2 (José Antonio de la Loma, 1984)
  • Ander y Yul ("Ander and Yul", Ana Díez, 1988)
  • Días de humo ("Days of Smoke", Antton Eceiza, 1989)
  • Sombras en una batalla ("Shadows in a Battle", Mario Camus, 1993)
  • Días contados ("Counted Days", Imanol Uribe, 1994)
  • A ciegas ("Blindly", Daniel Calparsoro, 1997)
  • The Jackal, Michael Caton-Jones
    Michael Caton-Jones
    Michael Caton-Jones is the director of such films as Scandal, Rob Roy, Memphis Belle and The Jackal...

    , 1997
  • El viaje de Arián ("Arián's Voyage", Eduard Bosch, 2001)
  • La voz de su amo ("His Master's Voice", Emilio Martínez Lázaro, 2001)
  • Esos cielos ("Those skies", Aitzpea Goenaga, 2006)
  • Todos estamos invitados ("We are all invited", Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
    Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
    Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón is an award-winning Spanish screenwriter and film director. His 1973 film Habla, mudita was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival. In 1977, he won the Silver Bear for Best Director for Camada negra at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival...

    , 2008)
  • La casa de mi padre ("My Father's House", Gorka Merchán, 2008)
  • Celda 211 ("Cell 211", Daniel Monzón, 2009)

Novels

  • The Spanish Game (Charles Cumming
    Charles Cumming
    Charles Cumming is a British writer of spy fiction. The son of Ian Cumming and Caroline Pilkington , he was educated at Ludgrove School , Eton College and the University of Edinburgh , where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English Literature...

    , 2006)
  • The Sands of Time (Sidney Sheldon
    Sidney Sheldon
    Sidney Sheldon was an Academy Award-winning American writer. His TV works spanned a 20-year period during which he created The Patty Duke Show , I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart , but he became most famous after he turned 50 and began writing best-selling novels such as Master of the Game ,...

    , 1988)
  • The Fish of Bitterness,(Los peces de la amargura) in Spanish (Fernando Aramburu
    Fernando Aramburu
    Fernando Aramburu is a Spanish writer.He graduated in Spanish Philology and has been living and working as a lecturer in Spanish language in Germany since 1985.- Works :*...

    , 2006)

External links