Key dates in history of Basque separatist group ETA

The group has been blamed for the death of 829 people in a campaign of violence that totalled 43 years.

Key dates in history of Basque separatist group ETA

World Bulletin / News Desk

Following are dates in the history of the Basque separatist group ETA, which said it would hand over all its remaining weapons on Saturday.

 1959: Creation of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), meaning Basque Homeland and Liberty, by Basque nationalist students inspired by revolutionary movements in the Third World.

1960s: Initially an organisation promoting culture and identity in the Basque country straddling the French-Spanish border, ETA mutates into a paramilitary group.

1968: Policeman is shot dead in the Spanish Basque town of San Sebastian, becoming the first killing to be officially attributed to ETA.

1973: ETA car bomb kills Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco, a key figure in the Franco military dictatorship.

1977: Spain's first democratic government after Franco's death declares amnesty for political prisoners, including detained ETA members.

1979: Spain gives autonomy to Spanish Basque country.

1980: Bloodiest year in ETA's campaign, with 92 dead.

1983: Emergency of shadowy death squads called GAL (Antiterrorist Liberation Groups), later linked to the Spanish interior ministry, which begin campaign of assassination of ETA figures. Twenty-eight are killed over the next four years.

1987: Twenty-one people are killed in a car bomb in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, in ETA's bloodiest single attack.

1997: Miguel Angel Blanco, a young local politician for the conservative People's Party, is kidnapped by ETA and subsequently murdered. His killing sparks mass protests against ETA.

1998: ETA declares unilateral and unlimited truce, which it calls off in late 1999 after breakdown of talks with the government.

2003: ETA's political wing, Batasuna, is banned.

2006: ETA announces a "permanent ceasefire" which ends within months with a bomb attack at Madrid airport in which two people are killed.

2008: Major blow to ETA with arrests of senior members, including military chief Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, nicknamed "Txeroki".

2009: ETA carries out its last attacks on Spanish soil. In March 2010 a French policeman in the Paris area is killed in a car chase.

2011: On October 20 2011, ETA announces the "definitive halt to (its) armed activity" and proposes disarmament in exchange for an amnesty for ETA prisoners. The Spanish government rejects the proposal.

2017: ETA announces it will hand over all its remaining weapons on Saturday April 8, describing itself as a "disarmed organisation."

 

 

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