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Spain

Extra! Spain Remembers ETA Victim 20 Years Later

La Razon's July 12 front page
La Razon's July 12 front page
Lucie Jung

La Razon, July 11, 2017

Like other top Spanish newspapers, Madrid-based La Razon used its front page Tuesday to pay homage to Miguel Angel Blanco, a day ahead of the 20th anniversary of his murder by the Basque terrorist group ETA on July 13, 1997: "We are all Miguel Angel Blanco," the daily's front page reads.

Blanco, a young local politician, was killed at age 29 by the radical separatist organization. Kidnapped on July 10, 1997, Blanco was shot with two bullet in the head despite mass public protests calling for his release, after the Spanish government refused to comply with the demand of the terrorist group to transfer some 500 ETA prisoners to jails in the Basque region within two days.

The impact of his death triggered international condemnation, and led to violent backlashes against ETA in Spain. The tension rose particularly high in the Basque city of Pamplona where riots broke out between supporters and opponents of the separatist group.

Ultimately, the assassination of Blanco is cited by many as the beginning of long, slow loss of support for the radical Basque group. On April 7, 2017, ETA announced its decision to give up all its weapons and explosives and officially become an unarmed political organization.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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