ETA extortion campaign may still be going on after truce

13th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2006, BILBAO — ETA may have sent extortion letters to the Basque business community after it declared a permanent ceasefire last month.

13 April 2006

BILBAO — ETA may have sent extortion letters to the Basque business community after it declared a permanent ceasefire last month.

The local paper Diario de Navarra reported that after the Basque terrorist group declared what many hope is the end to almost 40 years of violence, ETA was sending threatening letters to businessmen in Navarre.

The Navarre Confederation of Business told the newspaper some included direct threats while others "asked recipients to contribute to the peace process through an economic donation".

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has said one condition of the peace process being successful is ETA must cease its campaign of extortion, which is principally directed at the Basque business community.

So far ETA has not commented on this matter in the three statements it has released since the 'permanent ceasefire' which was declared on 22 March.

The newspaper said the extortion letters were postmarked in March and arrived in the last few says.

The ministry of interior said in a secret report following the ceasefire that ETA appeared to be inactive.

These letters would seem to suggest the first sign of activity since the Basque separatist group declared an end to its armed struggle.

Javier Rojo, Socialist president of the upper house of parliament or Senate, said this was "not good news", but he remained hopeful that the letters were sent before the ceasefire.

ETA has operated a long-standing campaign of extortion directed at the Basque business community, sometimes sending pictures of relatives to blackmail their targets into paying up.

If they fail to come up with the cash, their businesses are usually bombed.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news 

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