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SPAIN: The numbers -- the latest

Christopher Jones says: "Cristina Figueroa's dramatic concern for the victims of Basque separatist violence and defense of national vanity ignores the far greater hazards of Spain's motorways, which are among the most dangerous in Europe. The Spanish Statistical Institute reports that in one year alone, 5,790 Spaniards lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. Estimated motor vehicle injuries totaled 500,000 with about 65,000 of them serious. Almost 5000 illegals have drowned off the Spanish coast along the Gibraltar straits over the last few years and nobody has taken notice. But get out of the way when Spanish nationalism is impugned. Over the past 30 years, the total number of deaths from ETA terrorism have totalled 800 or about 29 a year. The vast majority of these victims were Guardia Civil members. What CristinaFigueroa fails to mention was that 1500 Basques or nearly double the total number of victims of ETA terrorism over 30 years were blasted to death in the bombardment of Guernica -- all in one day".

RH: This is comparing rotten apples and pears. One could attempt to justify the Zodiac killer by pointing out the number of violent deaths in the US or by bringing up the American Civil War. Those who condemn ETA killings generally condemn the bombing of Guernica. To use the latter as an excuse for the former is to justify the vendetta nature of politics which brought on the Spanish Civil War. In Madrid at the time, we knew that a killing by one side would be followed by one on the other. Any attempt to revive that mentality leaves me aghast.

Ronald Hilton - 6/24/03