ETA are this militant group whose declared goal is independence for the Basque Country (a territory straddling the French and Spanish border, at the Western end of the Pyrenees). The Irish Times reported yesterday that they had killed Ignacio Uria Mendizabal, a 71 businessman whose company was involved in constructing a high speed rail-link out of the Basque Country. "We want to send a clear warning to engineers, technicians, managers and leaders of companies which take part in the works or have anything to do with them that they should suspend their work," ETA have apparently said. Transport links out of the Basque Country are apparently against the interests of the Basque people.
It is interesting how mental ETA seem to have become over the last number of years. During the Aznar premiership they seemed to be interested in a peace process of some sort, going on ceasefire for a bit, only for Aznar to laugh in their face. However, when the new Socialist prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero tried to engage in a dialogue with ETA, they decided not to play ball. ETA's continuing campaign of violence happens at a time when their power has been severely weakened, so it is easy to see their killing of sort targets like Mr Mendizabal as the mark of a sore loser. The mis-steps of the Spanish state may nevertheless have played a part in pushing ETA into mentalism. Political parties affiliated with ETA have consistently been banned for the thoughtcrime of supporting terrorism; by closing off any political avenue, the Spanish state has left things open for those who like killing people and blowing things up.
ETA have previously killed journalists for little more than disagreeing with them, so I would like to make clear that this post is largely based on an e-mail sent to me by my beloved, and may not reflect my actual opinions.