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ETA

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ETA, which stands for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country and Liberty), is a separatist[?] armed group seeking an independent socialist Basque state. The group (terrorists) operates mainly in Spain and was founded in 1959.

Their targeted independent Basque country (Euskal Herria[?]) is situated in the Basque Country, or "Basque provinces", of Spain (Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, Alava, and Navarre), as well as in the historical Basque-speaking areas of Northern Navarre[?], Lapurdi[?] / Labourd[?] and Zuberoa[?] / Soule[?], located in southwestern France in the département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

ETA employs bombings and assassinations, mainly aimed against non-nationalist politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and the Guardia Civil[?] and other Spanish security forces, and has killed an estimated 800 people since the 1960s. Its theatre has been Spain, specially urban environments in the Spanish part of the Basque country, Madrid, Barcelona and the touristic Mediterranean coast of Spain[?].

ETA finances its operations through kidnapping, extortion, robbery, arms traffic and "taxes". It is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and all EU countries.

Because of its allegiance to Marxist ideas, ETA has been sponsored by communist regimes such as Cuba, as well as by Libya and Lebanon, and some of its members have found political asylum in Mexico and Venezuela.

ETA has historically taken refuge in Southern France, especially the French Basque Country[?] and Aquitanie[?]. The French governments have passed from initial tolerance, conceding the status of political refugees[?], to active counterfighting, speeding the transfer of arrested members to Spanish tribunals.

ETA is part of the Basque National Liberation Movement[?].

Its political wing is Batasuna, formerly known as Euskal Herritarrok[?] and "Herri Batasuna[?]", which generally receives about 10% of the vote in the Basque areas of Spain. On August 26, 2002, a trial for declaring illegal Batasuna was started by the Spanish Congress (Parliament). On the other hand, Judge Baltasar Garzón[?] suspended the activities of Batasuna in a parallel trial, investigating the relations of Batasuna and ETA. Its headquarters were shut down by police.

History It was founded by young nationalists unsatisfied by the PNV[?] party. For ten years, they theorized and protested by distroying infrastructure and Spanish symbols and hanging forbidden Basque flags.

In 1968, Xabi Etxebarrieta[?], a member of ETA, shot dead a policeman which halted his car for a road check[?]. He was soon killed by the Spanish police. Then ETA planned their first murder, Melitón Manzanas[?], a police officer and suspected torturer.

The ETA ideology was influenced by the Algerian independence and the decolonization[?] movement.

In 1973, ETA set a bomb in Madrid against the car of admiral Luis Carrero Blanco[?], appointed successor of Francisco Franco and prime minister of Spain[?]. Many in the Spanish opposition welcomed this blow against the dictatorship.

ETA was divided in ETA (m)[?] ("military") and ETA (pm)[?] ("political-military").

After the democratization (1975-1978) of Spain, the majority of ETA (pm) accepted the amnesty and joined the democratic process in the Euskadiko Ezkerra[?] ("Left Wing of the Basque Country") party. Dissenters joined ETA (m), which continued fighting Spain.

From 1986 to 1987 a government-supported, "counter-terrorist" group, the GAL[?], killed several suspected ETA terrorists and some innocent people. After this date, no major cases of foul play on part of the Spanish government have been proven, although ETA supporters routinely claim human rights violations and torture by security forces.

ETA has failed in killing king Juan Carlos I of Spain in Majorca and right-wing leader José María Aznar in Madrid.

To fight ETA, the Spanish state issued an counter-terrorist law, relaying suspected terrorist to the specialized tribunal Audiencia Nacional[?] in Madrid. Suspected terrorists are subject to a habeas corpus term longer than the rest of suspects.

The Colombian government accusses Irish and Basque citizens in Colombia of being IRA and ETA members teaching terrorist techniques to FLMN[?] guerrilla.

Other armed organizations acting in the Basque Country were:

External links

  • ETA according to Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/catalog.nsf/SearchResults?SearchDomain&Query=(ETA)&SearchOrder=1&SearchWV=TRUE&SearchThesaurus=FALSE&SearchFuzzy=FALSE&Start=1&Count=20&SearchEntry=ResultEntry)
  • Gesto por la paz (http://www.gesto.org/) Basque pacifist organization
  • on GAL (http://www.fas.org/irp/world/spain/cesid.htm)
  • Films about ETA


ETA is an acronym meaning 'estimated time of arrival'.



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