The dissolution of the Basque separatist group, ETA, came as little surprise. It had ceased to pose a security threat, and its legacy of violence had alienated would-be supporters. Enthusiasm for Basque nationalism remains rife, however. As pro-independence voices become more emboldened, Madrid may be hard-pressed to keep them quiet.
BILBAO, Spain—In Spain’s northern Basque region, residents often joke that “everything is ETA.”
The dangers posed by such accusations are stark. They can result in jail terms of up to 40 years, as well as mistreatment at the hands of the Spanish authorities. Security forces have been caught multiple times using excessive force and torture against suspected “terrorists” sympathetic to ETA’s embrace of political violence.