Spain arrests 14 Basque activists

Spanish police Feb. 11 arrested 14 prominent members of the outlawed Basque nationalist party Batasuna. Most of the arrests, ordered by leading anti-terrorist prosecutor Judge Baltasar Garzon, took place in towns around the northern Basque region and neighboring Navarra. One, Nuria Alzugarai, was arrested in the southern city of Cordoba, where she was visiting a prisoner. Police searched the houses of Karmelo Landa and Mikel Etxaburu, arrested in Bilbao, and seized several computers. police also searched several houses in other Basque towns, including Elorrio. The detainees, who have been transferred to Madrid, are accused of “collaboration with a terrorist group.” (EiTB, Feb. 11)

The new arrests follow the detainment of Batasuna leaders Pernando Barrena and Patxi Urrutia a week ago for allegedly acting in the name of an outlawed political party. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government arrested virtually the entire leadership of Batasuna last October, in what Barrena called it a “total declaration of war.” More than a dozen party members are still in jail pending investigations. (EiTB, Feb. 4)

See our last post on the Spain and the Basque struggle.