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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA)
ETAren anagrama Altsasun (square).jpg
ETA symbol
Dates of operation July 31, 1959–present
Leader Juan Cruz Maiztegui Bengoa
José Luis Eciolaza Galán "Dienteputo"[1]
Izaskun Lesaka[2]
Mikel Kabiboitz Carrera[3]
Motives The creation of an independent socialist Basque Country
Active region(s) Spain and France (Basque Country)
Ideology Basque nationalism,
Major actions Numerous bombings and assassinations
Status Designated as Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department
Designated as Proscribed Group by the UK Home Office
Designated as terrorist group by EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA (English: Basque Homeland and Freedom; pronounced [ˈɛːta]), is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization. The group was founded in 1959 and they evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country from a Marxist-Leninist perspective.[4][5]

ETA's motto is Bietan jarrai ("Keep up on both"). This refers to the two figures in its symbol, a snake (representing politics) wrapped around an axe (representing armed struggle).[6][7][8]

Since 1968, ETA has killed over 800 individuals, injured thousands and undertaken dozens of kidnappings.[9][10][11] The group is proscribed as a terrorist organization by the Spanish and French[12] authorities, as well as the European Union as a whole[13] and the United States.[14] This convention is followed by a plurality of domestic and international media, which also refer to the group as "terrorists".[15][16][17][18] More than 700 members of the organization are incarcerated in prisons in Spain, France, and other countries.[19]



ETA members fire salvos during the Day of the Basque Soldier of 2006.

ETA has changed its internal structure on several occasions for different reasons, commonly security ones. 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.[20]

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"). To supply the taldes, support groups maintain safe houses and zulos (small rooms concealed in forests, house attics or undergrounds, 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"[21]. Currently the most common commandos are the itinerant ones, not linked to any specific area, and thus, more difficult to capture.[22]

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 organisation when required.[23] 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.[citation needed]

ETA's internal bulletin is named Zutabe ("Column"), replacing the earlier one (1962) Zutik ("Standing").

ETA also promotes the kale borroka ("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 critics against ETA, bank offices, menaces, graffiti of political mottos, and general rioting, usually using Molotov cocktails[24]. These groups are made up mostly of young people, who are directed through youth organisations (such as Jarrai, Haika and Segi). 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 (formerly known as Euskal Herritarrok and "Herri Batasuna"), presently banned by the Spanish Supreme Court as an anti-democratic organisation following the Political Parties Law (Ley de Partidos Políticos[25]), pursues the same political goals as ETA and does not condemn ETA's use of violence. It generally received 8 to 15% of the vote in the Basque Autonomous Community [26].

Batasuna's political status has been a very controversial issue. It was considered to be the political wing of ETA[27][28]. Moreover, after the investigations on the nature of the relationship between Batasuna and ETA by Judge Baltasar Garzón, who suspended the activities of the political organization and made its headquarters be shut down by police, the Supreme Court of Spain finally declared Batasuna illegal on March 18, 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.[citation needed]

However, the party itself denies to be the political wing of ETA,[citation needed] 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, Jon Salaberria and others[29][30].

The Spanish Cortes (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 [31]. The bill passed the Cortes with a 304 to 16 vote.[citation needed] 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 as of February 2008. Other political parties linked to terrorist organizations like the Partido Comunista de España (reconstituido) 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) have been illegalized in September 2008.

A new party called Aukera Guztiak (All the Options) was formed expressly for the elections to the Basque Parliament 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 (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 [32]. 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.

Social support

Graffiti in Pasaia (2003). "ETA, the people with you" on the left, and Batasuna using several nationalist symbols asking for "Independence!".

Spain's transition to democracy 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. 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.[33] However by 2001 the party's support had fallen to 10.0%.[34] 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, torture was still "persistent," though not "systematic." Inroads could be undermined by judicial short-cuts and abuses of human rights.[35]

Opinion polls

The Euskobarometro, the survey carried out by the Universidad del País Vasco (University of the Basque Country), asking about the views of ETA the Basque population has, obtained these results in May 2009 [36]: 64% rejected ETA totally, 13% identified themselves as former ETA sympathizers (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 critizising 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[37][38][39] 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, where support for Basque nationalist electoral options is weaker (around 25% of population) or the Northern Basque Country where support is even weaker (around 15% of population).


During Franco's dictatorship

ETA was founded by young nationalists, who were for a time affiliated with the PNV. Started in 1952 as a student discussion group at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, an offshoot of the PNV's youth group EGI, it was originally called EKIN, from the Basque-language verb meaning "to act"; the name had the meaning "get busy". On July 31, 1959 it reconstituted itself as ETA. Their split from the PNV was apparently because they considered the PNV too moderate in its opposition to Franco's dictatorship. They disagreed with the PNV's rejection of violent tactics and advocated a Basque resistance movement using direct action. This was an era of wars of national liberation such as the anti-colonial war in Algeria.

In their platform, formed at their first assembly in Bayonne, France in 1962, ETA called for "historical regenerationism", viewing Basque history as a process of nation building. They declared that Basque nationality is defined by the Basque language; this was in contrast to the PNV's definition of Basque nationality in terms of ethnicity. In contrast with the explicit Catholicism of the PNV, ETA defined itself as "aconfessional"—meaning ETA does not recognize a special state religion—although using Catholic doctrine to elaborate its social program. They called for socialism and for "independence for Euskadi, compatible with European federalism".

In 1965, the sixth Assembly of ETA adopted a Marxist-Leninist position; its precise political line has varied with time, although they have always advocated some type of socialism.

In its early years, ETA's activity seems to have consisted mostly of theorizing and of protesting by destroying infrastructure and Spanish symbols and by hanging forbidden Basque flags.

Memorial plate at the place of the assassination of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco.

It is not clear when exactly ETA first began a policy of assassination, nor is it clear who committed the first assassinations identified with ETA. There are sources that single out a failed 1960 attempt to derail a train carrying war veterans as a result of which the little girl Beatriz Urroz was killed, this attack was not vindicated by ETA or any other group. The first confirmed assassination occurred on June 7, 1968 when Guardia Civil, José Pardines Arcay was shot dead when he tried to halt ETA member Txabi Etxebarrieta during the course of a routine road check. Etxebarrieta was chased down and killed as he tried to flee[40]. This led to retaliation in the form of the first planned ETA assassination, that of Melitón Manzanas, chief of the secret police in San Sebastián and associated to a long record of tortures inflicted to detainees under his custody.[41] In 1970, several members of ETA were condemned to death in the Proceso de Burgos ("Trial of Burgos"), but international pressure resulted in commutation of the sentences, which, however, had by that time already been applied to some other members of ETA. The nationalists that refused Marxism-Leninism and looked for a National Front appeared as the so-called ETA-V. They kidnapped the German consul in San Sebastian, Eugen Beilh, to exchange him for the Burgos condemnees. The most significant assassination performed by ETA during Franco's dictatorship was Operación Ogro, the December 1973 bomb assassination in Madrid of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, 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 Blanco's car passed every day. The bomb blew up just in time and threw the politician and his car three floors into the air and over the top of a nearby building; the car landed on a balcony in a courtyard the other side from the road.

This killing was not condemned and in some cases was even applauded by the Spanish opposition in exile. For some Carrero Blanco's death was an instrumental step for the subsequent establishment of democracy, by eliminating Franco's chosen successor. In regard to Carrero's death, the former ETA member now turned anti-nationalist author Jon Juaristi contends that ETA's goal with this particular killing was not democratization but a spiral of violence as an attempt to fully destabilize Spain, increase Franco's repression against Basque nationalism and subsequently put the average citizen in the Basque country in a situation where they would have had to accept the lesser evil in the form of ETA's reaction against Franco's unleashed repression.[42]

During the transition

After Franco's death, during the Spanish transition to democracy, ETA split into two separate organisations: one faction became ETA political-military or ETA(pm), and another ETA military or ETA(m).

Both ETA(m) and ETA(pm) refused offers of amnesty, instead continuing and intensifying their violent struggle. The years 1978–80 were to prove ETA's most deadly, with 68, 76, and 91 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" 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 80s, 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 ("Left 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.


During the 1980s a "dirty war" ensued by means of the Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación (GAL, "Antiterrorist Liberation Groups"), a paramilitary 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.[43] 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 acting from 1976 to 1982. They were responsible for the killing of about 48 people.[43]

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.[44]

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, with an investigative 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.[45]

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 PSOE government, such as former Homeland Minister José Barrionuevo. Premier Felipe González was quoted as saying that the constitutional state 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

ETA members and supporters routinely claim torture at the hands of any police force[46]. 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 three 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 as unjustifiably light and lenient with co-conspirators and enablers.[47][48]

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.[49] 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.[46]. 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 has included Spain in all six editions of its annual watchlist on press freedom[50]. Thus, this NGO has included ETA in its watchlist "Predators of Press Freedom".[51]

Under democracy

ETA performed their first car bomb assassination in Madrid 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 June 19, 1987 the Hipercor bombing was an attack in a shopping center in Barcelona, 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, 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 January 12, 1988 all Basque political parties except ETA-affiliated Herri Batasuna signed the Ajuria-Enea pact with the intent of ending ETA's violence. Weeks later on January 28, ETA announced a 60-day "ceasefire", later prolonged several times. Negotiations known as the Mesa de Argel ("Algiers 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. 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 ("Freedom") and Senideak ("The family members") provide support for prisoners and families. The Basque Government and several Nationalist town halls grant money on humanitarian reasons for relatives to visit prisoners. The long road trips had 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[citation needed]. 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, 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 coroners. In comparison the habeas corpus 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 [52] — were arrested in the northern Basque town of Bidart, 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), dedicated to so-called "kale borroka" — street struggle — and whose activities included burning buses, street lamps, benches, ATMs, garbage containers, and throwing Molotov cocktails. 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 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. Changing the constitution was not considered.

Also in 1995 came a failed ETA car bombing attempt directed against José María Aznar, a conservative politician who was leader of the then-opposition Partido Popular (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. Still, the act with the largest social impact came the following year. July 10, 1997 PP council member Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped in the Basque town of Ermua, 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 wasn't 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 November 6, 2001 car bomb in Madrid, which injured sixty-five, and attacks on soccer stadiums and tourist destinations.

The September 11, 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).

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

On Christmas Eve 2003, in San Sebastián and in Hernani, National Police arrested two ETA members who had left dynamite in a railroad car prepared to explode in Chamartín Station in Madrid. On March 1, 2004, in a place between Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, a light truck with 536 kg of explosives was discovered by the Guardia Civil.

ETA was initially blamed for the 2004 Madrid bombings by the outgoing government [53] and large sections of the press.[54] 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.[citation needed]

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:[55][56]

  • 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 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:

The unfinished Lemoniz power plant in 2006.
  • Alleged heroin traffickers, as "corruptors of Basque youth" and police collaborators, a fix for a tip.
  • The nuclear power plant facilities at Lemoniz (Biscay). In the early 1980s, when the Basque ecologist movement opposed this project, 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[57]. 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.[citation needed].
  • The A-15 highway which was to run through the Leizaran Valley between Navarre and Guipuscoa. It was inaugurated in 1995, during the construction 4 people related to the construction were killed by ETA[57], and over 280 million pesetas were spent by public institutions to cover the losses[58][59].
  • The so called Basque Y, a plan to make the AVE high-speed railways connect the three capital cities of the Basque Autonomous Community[60]. In December 2008, the group killed Ignacio Uria Mendizabal, the Basque owner of one of the companies working in this project[61]. 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[62].


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

Flowers and a plate remember Ertzaina Txema Agirre, shot dead by ETA gunmen in 1997 while protecting the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (visible on the background).
  • Spanish military and police personnel, active duty or retired [63]. 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 in the Basque Country and Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia) took a greater role in combating ETA, they were added to their list of targets.
  • Businessmen (such as Javier Ybarra, Joxe Mari Korta or Ignacio Uria Mendizabal[64]): these are mainly targeted in order to extort them for the so-called "revolutionary tax". 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, killed in 1973). Dozens of politicians belonging to the People's Party (PP) and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (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[65]. Nonetheless, ETA killed ex-council member Isaías Carrasco in Mondragon/Arrasate on March 7, 2008[66].
Repairs to the Balmaseda law courts after a bombing in 2006.
  • Judges and prosecutors[67]. 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[68]: 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.[69]
  • 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[70].
  • A number of ETA attacks by car bomb have caused random civilian casualties, like ETA's bloodiest attack, the bombing in 1987 of the subterranean parking lot of the Hipercor supermarket in Barcelona [71][72] which killed 21 civilians and left 45 seriously wounded, of whom 20 were left disabled; also the attack of Plaza de Callao in Madrid[73].


ETA's tactics include:

  • Direct attacks: killing by shooting the victim in the nape[74][75][76].
  • Bombings (often with car bombs). 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 or self-produced ammonal. After a number of successful robberies in France, ETA began using Titadyne.
  • Shells: hand-made mortars (the Jo ta ke model)[77] 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 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 the soccer player Bixente Lizarazu.[78] ETA moves the extorted funds to accounts in Liechtenstein and other fiscal havens.[79] According to French judiciary sources, ETA exacts an estimated 900,000 euros a year in this manner.[80]
  • 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. ETA hides the kidnapped in underground chambers without windows, denominated zulos, of very reduced dimensions for extended periods.[81][82] 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.



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[83]. It has maimed hundreds more[11] 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)[83]. 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[83].

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[84] 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[84]).

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, followed by Madrid with roughly 15%. Navarre and Catalonia also register significant numbers[85].

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[86]. Only very rarely have ETA members engaged in shootings with the French Gendarmerie. This has often occurred mainly when members of the organization were confronted at checkpoints.

In spite of this, ETA killed in France on December 1, 2007 two Spanish Civil Guards on counter-terrorist surveillance duties in Capbreton, Landes[87]. This has been its first killing after it ended its self-styled "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.[88]


A police file, dating from 1996, indicated that ETA needed about 15 million pesetas (about 90,000 Euros) daily in order to finance its operations[citation needed]. 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[89].

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 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, 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 Basque nationalism that is often referred to by the Basque-language term Ezker Abertzalea (Nationalist Left). Other groups typically considered to belong to this independentist movement are: the political party Batasuna, the nationalist youth organization Segi, the labour union Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak (LAB), and Askatasuna among others. There are often strong interconnections between these groups, double or even triple membership are not unfrequent[30].

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, Aralar and, in the French Basque country, Abertzaleen Batasuna. In addition a number of left-wing parties, such as Ezker Batua, Batzarre 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.[90] 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 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 fro between the two countries using the French sanctuary as a base for operations.[91]

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 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[90].

Government response

ETA considers its prisoners political prisoners. Until 2003,[92] ETA consequently forbade them to ask penal authorities for progression to tercer grado (a form of open prison that allows single-day or weekend furloughs) 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[70].

A more recent tactic of the Spanish Governments' campaign against ETA has been to target its social support network.[citation needed] The most important measure has been the passing of the Ley de Partidos Políticos. This is a law barring political parties which support violence, don't condemn terrorist actions or are involved with terrorist groups [93]. 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 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 (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 authorized the reopening of the newspaper and the radio, but they coulndn't 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.
  • 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 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)[94].

As of June 2007, indicted members of the youth movements Haika, Segi and Jarrai have been found guilty (January 2007) of a crime of connivance with terrorism. Most of the other trials are still under process.

On Tuesday 20 May 2008, leading ETA figures were arrested in Bordeaux, France. Francisco Javier Lopez Pena, also known as 'Thierry,' had been on the run for twenty years before his arrest.[95] A final total of arrests brought in six people, including ETA members and supporters, including the ex-Mayor of Andoain, José Antonio Barandiarán, who is rumoured to have led police to 'Thierry'.[96]. 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 terrorist attacks, and that the man considered to be the head of the terrorists, 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." [97]

After the major coup of Lopez Pena's arrest, along with the Basque referendum being put on hold, police work has been on the rise. On July 22, 2008 Spanish police dismantled the most active cell of ETA by detaining nine suspected members of the group. Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba 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."[98] 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.[99]

International response

The European Union and the United States list ETA as a terrorist organization in their relevant watch lists. The United Kingdom lists ETA as a terrorist group in the Terrorism Act of 2000. The Canadian Parliament listed ETA as a terrorist organization on April 2, 2003 [100].

France and Spain have often showed 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.[101]

Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos made the claim that FARC have attempted to lodge ties with ETA for an attack in Spain.

The FARC's contacts with ETA and drug traffickers exporting cocaine to Europe are not new, and when they are secure in Colombia, they try to do harm overseas,
In any case, the police and defense ministry continue to do intelligence analysis on the FARC's relationship with ETA but that (foreign operations) is one of the risks you have to take.[102]

This was later denied by the Anncol news agency which said the government mistook a city by the name of Madrid in northern Colombia for the Spanish capital.[citation needed]

On October 2, 2008, as ETA activity increased, France increased its pressure on ETA by arresting more ETA suspects, including an alleged ETA member, Esteban Murillo Zubiri, in Bidarrain. He had been wanted by the Spanish authorities since 2007 when a europol arrest warrant was issued against him. French judicial authorities had already ordered that he be held in prison on remand. His was the third arrest of an ETA terrorist in less than two weeks in France following the detention of Unai Fano and María Lizarraga on September 23.[103] In addition to France, Spain has also sought cooperation from the United Kingdom in dealing with the ETA-IRA ties. In November 2008, this came to light when the contemporaneously recent release from prison, Inaki de Juana Chaos, moved to Belfast and thought to be staying at an IRA safe house and was sought by the Spanish authorities. Interpol notified the justice, Eloy Velasco, that he was in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.[104]

ETA's 2006 declaration of a "permanent ceasefire" and current events

Barajas Airport parking after the bomb.

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.

The most recent is the one of 22 March 2006, when ETA sent a DVD message to the Basque Network Euskal Irrati-Telebista[105] and the journals Gara[106] and Berria 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.

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.[107] or a series of warnings made by ETA such as the one of September 23, when masked ETA militants declared that the organization would "keep taking up arms" until achieving "independence and socialism in the Basque country"[108], 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 after three confusing warning calls, in a parking building at the Madrid 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.[109] At 6:00 P.M., José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero released a statement stating that the "peace process" had been discontinued.[110]

Current events

In January 2008, ETA stated that its call for independence is similar to that of the Kosovo status and Scotland.[111]

In the week of September 8, 2008 two Basque political parties were banned by a Spanish court for their secretive links to ETA. In an other 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.[citation needed]ETA reacted to this actions by placing three major car bombs in less than 24 hours in northern Spain.

In April 2009 Jurdan Martitegi was arrested, making the fourth consecutive of ETA's military chiefs being captured within a single year, an unprecedented police record further weakening the group.[84]

The group, and therefore the violence resurged in summer 2009, with several ETA attacks leaving three people dead and dozens injured around Spain. According to the Basque newspaper GARA, ETA member Jon Anza was killed and buried by Spanish police in April 2009.

In December 2009, Spain raised its terror alert after warning that ETA could be planning major attacks or a high-profile kidnappings during Spain's European Union presidency. The next day, after being asked by the opposition, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said that warning was part of a strategy.

Other related armed groups

Disbanded violent groups


International links

  • ETA is known to have had 'fraternal' contacts with the Provisional Irish Republican Army; the two groups have both, at times, characterized their struggles as parallel. It has also had links with other militant left-wing movements in Europe and in other places throughout the world.
  • ETA commandos teamed in 1999 with the (now self-dissolved) Breton Revolutionary Army to steal explosives from magazines in Brittany.
  • The Colombian government stated that there are contacts between ETA and the Colombian guerrilla FARC. The recent capture of FARC's leaders computers, and leaked email exchanges between both groups, shows that ETA members received training from the FARC. Apparently the FARC asked for help from ETA in order to conduct future attacks in Spain.[112][113][114] 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, lasted 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.[115]
  • Italian author and mafia specialist Roberto Saviano points out to a relationship of the group with the mafia. According to this view, ETA trafficks with cocaine which it gets via its FARC contacts, then trades it with the mafia for guns[116].
  • Some ex-militants have received political asylum in Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Venezuela.
  • Several ex-militants were sent from France through Panama to reside in Cuba after an agreement of the Spanish government (under Felipe González) with Cuba.[117] The United States Department of State has no information on their activities on Cuban territory[118].

Documentary films

Documentary films about ETA

Other films

Other fact-based films about ETA

Fictional films featuring ETA members and actions

  • El caso Almería ("The Almería Case", Pedro Costa, 1983)
  • La muerte de Mikel ("The Death of Mikel", Imanol Uribe, 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, 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, 2008)
  • La casa de mi padre ("My Father's House", Gorka Merchán, 2008)


Novels about ETA


  1. ^"«Dienteputo» se afianza como jefe de ETA y dirige con «Txeroki» la actual ofensiva"
  2. ^"Una mujer es el cerebro de los últimos atentados de ETA en Burgos y Mallorca"
  3. ^"Mikel Kabiboitz Carrera, nuevo jefe militar de ETA"
  4. ^"What is the MNLV (4)"
  5. ^ "What is the MNLV (3)"
  6. ^ Article in Spanish citing the meaning of the axe and the serpent
  7. ^ Article in Spanish including the ETA logo
  8. ^ Article in Spanish including a handmade ETA logo
  9. ^
  10. ^ Spanish Ministerio del Interior page; ETA has killed 823 people as of 08/19/08
  11. ^ a b [1]
  12. ^ (French) French list of terrorist organizations, in the annex of Chapter XIV
  13. ^ EU list of terrorist organizationsPDF (43.6 KiB), 29 May 2006
  14. ^ Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ [5]
  19. ^ (Spanish) La cifra de presos de ETA es la más alta de la última década con 728 encarcelados El Confidencial, 07 January 2008
  20. ^ [6]
  21. ^ «El técnico» construyó los zulos de ETA, La Razón, 18 October 2004.
  22. ^ [7]
  23. ^ [8]
  24. ^
  25. ^ Party Law in Spanish
  26. ^ | Elecciones en el País Vasco 2005
  27. ^ BBC News | EUROPE | ETA's political wing elects new leaders
  28. ^ Batasuna (Basque org.) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  29. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Basque nationalist leader jailed
  30. ^ a b De la dirección de Batasuna a la de ETA • ELPAÍ
  31. ^ [9]
  32. ^ | Elecciones en el País Vasco 2005
  33. ^ Basque parliament election 1998 accessed 22-04-2009
  34. ^ 2001 Basque parliament election accessed 22-04-2009
  35. ^
  36. ^ [10]
  37. ^ Gabinete de Prospección Sociológica (Gobierno Vasco): list of sociological studies 2006
  38. ^ Gara:Más del 85% apuesta por el derecho a decidir y por el diálogo sobre el marco
  39. ^ Deia: Ocho de cada diez vascos confían en el proceso de paz pese a su estancamiento
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Hablan las Víctimas de Melitón Manzanas". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 2008-06-19.  Article in Spanish
  42. ^ Sacra Némesis: Nuevas historias de nacionalistas vascos, pages 143-145, Jon Juaristi, Editorial Espasa Calpe, 1999, ISBN 84-239-7791-9
  43. ^ a b Diego Carcedo (2004). Sáenz de Santa María. El general que cambió de bando. Madrid: Temas de Hoy. p. 437. ISBN 84-8460-309-1. 
  44. ^ Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country(pp. 197-202), John Bew, Martyn Frampton, and Inigo Gurruchaga, Hurst & Co., London.
  45. ^ World: Europe Former Spanish ministers jailed for 'terrorism'
  46. ^ a b
  47. ^ October 2002 AI Index: EUR 41/12/2002: SPAIN: A briefing for the United Nations Committee against Torture: Although convictions of torturers occur, these are rare. […] examining judges and prosecutors may not always be displaying due diligence […] trials involving torture complaints are often delayed for long periods. Where torture has been found to have occurred and torturers are convicted, awards of compensation by courts to torture victims are usually low and may take between seven and 19 years to be decided.
  48. ^ AI Index: EUR 41/014/2002: 1 November 2002: SPAIN: A Briefing for the UN Committee against Torture: Update: The Committee also expressed concern about: the length of judicial investigations into torture complaints, which could give rise to the granting of pardons to convicted torturers, or the failure to impose appropriate sentences, owing to the period of time that had elapsed since the crime was committed;
  49. ^ "2008 Report on Spain". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  50. ^ Reporters Without Borders points out problems with free press in Spain due to ETA's threats and violence, 2006
  51. ^ ETA listed as a "predator of press freedom" by Reporters Without Borders
  52. ^ Informativos - Internacional - Trece muertos y más de cincuenta heridos en dos atentados suicidas en Bangladesh
  53. ^ ANALYSIS-Spain's PM down but not out after ETA bomb | Reuters
  54. ^ Spanish newspapers blame ETA for Madrid bombings
  55. ^ (English) Democratic Alternative
  56. ^ (Basque) EUSKAL HERRIARENTZAKO ALTERNATIBA DEMOKRATIKOA (Berria, original Basque text)
  57. ^ a b Hemeroteca: el fantasma de lemoniz
  58. ^ RESOLUCIÓN n.º 58/1997, de 13 de octubre, del Presidente del Tribunal Vasco de Cuentas Públicas, por la que se hace público el Informe de Fiscalización "Autovía Irurtzun-Andoain: Tramo guipuzcoano (II)", Boletín Oficial del País Vasco 1997203 - 23/10/1997, page 16890.
  59. ^ Boletín Oficial del Parlamento de Navarra Nº 38, 27 May 1997, page 9.
  60. ^ ETA convierte las obras del Tren de Alta Velocidad en un objetivo estratégico, Óscar B. de Otálora, El Diario Vasco, 4th November 2007.
  61. ^ [11]
  62. ^ La banda terrorista ETA afirma en un comunicado publicado hoy en el diario Gara que "los ingenieros, técnicos superiores, responsables o dirigentes de empresas que participan en las obras" de trazado ferroviario para el Tren de Alta Velocidad (TAV) vasco son "objetivo" de sus atentados
  63. ^ [12]
  64. ^
  65. ^ Anger and doubts greet promise by Eta not to target Spanish politicians | World news | The Guardian
  66. ^ Spain cancels election rallies after murder | World news | The Guardian
  67. ^
  68. ^ The Independent (London), 19 October 2000
  69. ^ New York Times, 18 July 1997
  70. ^ a b BBC News | EUROPE | Spanish cinema breaks ETA taboo
  71. ^ MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base, Spain: 1987 Overview
  72. ^ Ana María Ortiz, Jessica, la ultima victima de Hipercor, El Mundo (Crónica number 347) nu 9 June 2002
  73. ^ Madrid bomb injures eight, BBC News / Europe, 12 July 2000
  74. ^ BBC News | EUROPE | European press review
  75. ^ - Prosecutor dies after 'ETA-style' shooting - October 9, 2000
  76. ^ Eta to end attacks on elected politicians | World news | The Observer
  77. ^ ETA retoma el uso de las granadas Jotake para atentar contra cuarteles
  78. ^ ETA tries to justify 'tax' on Lizarazu - International, Football - The Independent
  79. ^ Bank accounts linked to Eta are frozen in Liechtenstein - Europe, News - The Independent
  80. ^ ETA recauda anualmente 900.000 €, según la Policía francesa -
  81. ^ Los secuestros de ETA - El zulo de Aldaya y Delclaux
  82. ^ Spanish Police Free 2 Kidnapped by the Basques - New York Times
  83. ^ a b c [13]
  84. ^ a b c [14]
  85. ^ [15]
  86. ^ Plot unveiled to assassinate anti-terrorist French judge
  87. ^ ETA kills two Spanish policemen on duty in France
  88. ^ Dec. 1st; ETA kills two policemen, its first cold blood assassination since they ended their self styled "permanent ceasefire"
  89. ^ ETA maneja un presupuesto de dos millones de euros al año
  90. ^ a b
  91. ^ [16]
  92. ^ ETA pide el tercer grado para sus presos Libertad Digital, 5 October 2003, quoted in La dispersión de los presos de ETAPDF (47.2 KiB) (page 9), a PDF in the ¡Basta Ya! site.
  93. ^ Ley Orgánica 6/2002, de 27 de junio
  94. ^ Testimony by Martxelo Otamendi at the Universal Forum of Cultures, Barcelona (May 2004).
  95. ^ ETA terror leader's arrest hailed as 'heavy blow' - 22 May 2008 - NZ Herald: World / International News
  96. ^ The Fall of Spain's Most Wanted - TIME
  97. ^
  98. ^
  99. ^
  100. ^ Currently listed entities
  101. ^
  102. ^
  103. ^
  104. ^
  105. ^ ETA cease-fire, eitb24, 23 March 2006.
  106. ^ (Spanish) (French) (Basque) ETA declara un alto el fuego permanente para impulsar un proceso democrático ("ETA declares a permanent ceasefire to give impetus to a democratic process"), Gara, 3 March 2006 (article in Spanish, text of announcement in Basque, Spanish and French.
  107. ^ (Spanish) La Policía sospecha que fue ETA quien robó anteayer 350 pistolas en Nimes ("The police suspect that it was ETA who stole 350 guns yesterday in Nîmes"), Gara, 25 October 2006
  108. ^ (Spanish) El Mundo 24 September 2006
  109. ^ (Spanish) ETA cargó la bomba de Barajas con al menos 200 kilos de explosivo El País, 30 December 2006
  110. ^ (Spanish) Zapatero: "He ordenado suspender todas las iniciativas para desarrollar el diálogo con ETA" El País, 30 December 2006
  111. ^ B92 ETA to follow Kosovo example
  112. ^ Colombia: Sospechan relación de ETA con las FARC General Commander Fernando Tapias on August 2001.
  113. ^ Colombia: FARC sought to launch attack with ETA.
  114. ^ Colombia VP says FARC sought ETA ties for attack in Spain
  115. ^,farc-and-eta-exchanged-information-about-military-tactics--report.html
  116. ^ [17]
  117. ^ Conferencia de Prensa ofrecida por Felipe Pérez Roque, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba. Centro de Convenciones “Atlapa” de la Ciudad de Panamá. 7 November 2000.
  118. ^ Country Reports on Terrorism: Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (April 28, 2006): The Government of Cuba maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and North Korea, and has provided safe haven to members of ETA, FARC, and the ELN. There is no information concerning activities of these or other organizations on Cuban territory. Press reports indicate that fugitives from US justice and ETA members are living legally in Cuba, just like fugitives from Cuban justice live legally in the US. The United States says it is not aware of specific terrorist enclaves in the country.

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also eta, -eta, and etä-






  1. Estimated time of arrival.
  2. (Internet slang) Edited to add.



Wikipedia has an article on:



ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna)

  1. Basque Homeland and Liberty
  2. Name of a basque nationalist terrorist group



ETA (Euroopan talousalue)

  1. European Economic Area, EEA

Simple English

Eta or ETA may mean:


  • Eta, of the Greek alphabet (Η, η)
  • Eta Aircraft eta, a very high performance German glider
  • Burakumin, a Japanese social minority group (Eta is an old, derogatory name)
  • Eta reduction in mathematics: see lambda calculus
  • Eta (Potato Chip), a New Zealand brand of potato chip, produced by Griffin's Foods
  • Eta Carinae, a highly luminous hypergiant double star
  • Eta meson, a physics particle: see list of mesons
  • Eta (letter in Greek alphabet, lower case only), symbol for efficiency in scientific discourse


  • Estimated time of arrival
  • Estimated Time Amount when using μTorrent, Azureus, and other BitTorrent clients.
  • Education And Training Administration, flight training software by Talon Systems
  • Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) is a Basque paramilitary nationalist organization.
  • ETA SA, a watchmaking company
  • ETA, a. s., electrotechnical company from Hlinsko, Czech Republic [1]
  • Electronic Technician's Association
  • Electronic Travel Authority, Australian electronic visa
  • Elektrosektionens Teletekniska Avdelning, An electronics club at Chalmers University, Sweden [2]
  • Employment and Training Administration, a branch of the US Department of Labor
  • Engineering and Technology Academy, a school is San Antonio, and part of NEISD
  • Environmental Transport Association, a UK motor car breakdown and rescue organisation
  • Eric the Actor, see Eric the Midget
  • Estonian Broadcasting Agency (Eesti Teadete Agentuur), a defunct Estonian news service
  • Ethiopian Teachers' Association, a trade union centre for Ethiopia
  • Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency
  • Evangelical Theological Association, an associated teaching institute of the Melbourne College of Divinity
  • Eidiko Tmima Alexiptotiston, Greek special operations unit
  • A numerical weather prediction model formally known as the Eta

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