Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA)
Shown is ETA graffiti in Pais Vasco calling for independence.
Shown is ETA graffiti in Pais Vasco calling for independence.

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or "Basque Homeland and Liberty" is nationalist group of Pais Vasco that was provably committed to armed struggle. ETA was founded in 1959 as an opposition to Generalissimo Franco's oppression of Basque culture and language (¹). In 1968, a police chief became ETA's first victim. 5 years later, members of the anarchist group planted an underground bomb below the common church parking spot of Franco's origninal successor, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco (²). ETA has been targeting government officials in terrorist attacks ever since.

The new Constitution of 1978 was promised to grant the Basque and the Catalans extensive regional powers. However, the contrast of voter stances in the referendum serves as proof that the nationalists of Pais Vasco were not in favor of the new constitution. It was approved by the greater Spain by about two-thirds of the referendum participants. In the specific case of the Basques, less than one-third of voters were in favor. (¹)

Altogether, the ETA has conducted over 1,600 terrorist attacks, killing over 800 people in attempt to defer Franco's regime from their homeland (²). Although new attacks happen sporadically, ETA's presence is dwindling due to a split in the organization. Shortly after Francisco Franco's death in 1975, the ETA split into two separate factions one of which, ETA(pm) [political-military], became more involved in the political aspect of Basque Nationalism. Meanwhile, ETA(m) [military], continued to focus on terrorism as a means of spreading their message (¹). In March of 2006, ETA(m) announced a "permanent" cease-fire. Unfortunately, past claims of cease-fires allow skeptics to argue ETA's definition of "permanent" (²).

-Nicholas Ekblad
¹ Dirty War, Clean Hands by Paddy Woodworth