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SPAIN: ETA Terrorists

Among the nastiest terrorist groups is the Basque ETA, whose members are predominantly young men. We must face the fact that there is a streak of ruthless violence in young men, as was made evident in the Hitler youth. Three masked members of the Basque separatist movement ETA said in a video broadcast , just over a week before municipal elections, that the armed group was not planning a ceasefire. "On ETA's part, no tactical ceasefire exists," one of the masked members was quoted as saying in a transcript provided by Basque public television channel EiTB, which broadcast the video. Spanish media had speculated that ETA had agreed a ceasefire with the mainstream Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). The ETA members, wearing white masks and berets typical of the Basque country, also called for people to vote for separatist candidates barred from standing for election by Madrid courts for alleged links to ETA. Western Europe's most active guerrilla force, ETA has killed more than 830 people since 1968 in a campaign for an independent state in northern Spain and southwestern France. The supreme court has banned hundreds of candidates from standing, saying they are linked to separatist party Batasuna, which was outlawed for being the political arm of ETA. (Reuters, 19/5/03). With ETA in the north and threats of Arab terrorism in Andalusia, Spain may face a violent future. Those of us who wish Spain well are grieved.

Ronald Hilton - 5/19/03