Spanish Anti-terrorism and the Basque Society Essay

Spanish Anti-terrorism and the Basque Society Essay

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Within Basque society, there is an ideological conflict due to the use of violence as a political tool. Many criticize Spanish anti-terrorism movements as violating the human rights of the ETA—many captured ETA members are imprisoned for decades, exiled from the country, tortured, or killed (Basque Conflict)—but they also find themselves exhausted and emotionally overtaxed by living in an environment that revolves around constant violence and terrorist threats (Vieytez). In the graph below, reproduced from The Basque Conflict report, the struggle between the ETA and the Spanish police is depicted through raw data that indicates just how widely the ETA’s actions have affected both the Spanish and Basque people, both through direct violence and through a ripple-effect:
As is evident from those figures, resolving the Basque conflict would have positive effects that would reach far beyond terrorist issues. This is also an economic drain on both the Spanish and Basque economies, and a resolution would gold a great fiscal benefit for both parties. Unfortunately, emotions often get in the way of budgetary pragmatism in cases of nationalistic conflict, as is the case in the Basque situation. One way to combat this issue would be by having the governments of both, Spain and the Basque country, launch a public education campaign that revolved around the desire to create a better quality of life for future generations. After all, the Basque people themselves are split on what they truly desire for the future of their people. In the USIP Special Report, it is stated that “Thirty-two percent of the Basque population does not want an independent Basque country… and thirty-four percent has no clear preference” (Idoiaga 7).

Basque Econo...


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...deas and Prospects for Peace. Rep.
161st ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. USIP Special Report. United States Institute of Peace,
Apr. 2006. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
Quiroga, Alejandro. The Newly Elected Basque Government May Be Tempted to Use
the Lure of Secessionism as a Diversion from the Region's Economic Problems.
EUROPP. The London School of Economics and Political Science, 31 Oct. 2012.
Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Trukhachev, Vadim. "ETA Terrorist Group Finishes Its Swan Song." Pravda.ru. N.p., 11
Sept. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
Vieytez, Eduardo Ruiz. "Introduction: New Perspectives for the Basque Country in a
Post-Conflict Scenario." Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe 12.2 (2013): 1-6. EMCI. 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Woodworth, Paddy. "Why Do They Kill? The Basque Conflict in Spain." World Policy
Journal 18.1 (2001): 1-12. JSTOR. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

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