Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet
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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna
in Counter-terror by proxy
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The Basque militant organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country and Freedom, ETA) emerged in Franco’s Spain in the late 1950s. Since embracing armed struggle in 1968, ETA has been a thorn in the side of the Spanish state. The Basque group entered the Spanish national consciousness on 20 December 1973 with the spectacular assassination of Admiral Carrero Blanco, the designated political heir of Francisco Franco. Since then and despite the democratic political transition following the death of Franco in 1975, ETA has carried on its violent campaigns across Spain. Furthermore, the organisation’s seemingly endless ability to regenerate itself in the face of ongoing police repression has contributed to the production of a performative representation of ETA as one of Western Europe’s most virulent clandestine movements. This chapter reflects upon how such representations of ETA as the arch-enemy, whose simple existence endangers the nature of Spain and its democratic future, could have unleashed the desire for agencies of a democratic State to imitate ETA’s unlawful violence and enact an extra-judicial campaign of assassination against ETA.

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Counter-terror by proxy

The Spanish State’s illicit war with ETA


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