In 2011, after 50 years of violent existence, ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna — Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced a cessation of its armed activities. During this time, ETA used terrorist violence to achieve political ends, evolving in terms of target selection and strategies of violence. Attacks in the form of killings and/or bombings were perpetrated not only in the Basque Country but also all over the Spanish territory. However, besides the typical violence, other forms of activity, so-called low-intensity violence, were also carried out against targets, especially inside the Basque Country and Navarra regions; these locations were traditionally known as areas
to the terrorist organisation. This low-intensity violence, commonplace from the mid-1990s onwards, involved a wide spectrum of violent forms, such as physical aggression, arson attacks, coercion, intimidation, threats and extortion, among others. This strategy sustained a persistent context of pressure and harassment and because of this the so-called low-intensity violence was commonly referred to as the ‘violence of persecution’ (Gesture for Peace, 2000); it was however punctuated by the continuation of selective killings. The Basque Ombudsman noted that this ‘violence of persecution’ was mainly operationalised in the Basque Country, and predominantly against
people who have been critical towards ETA’s totalitarian project, such as democratic representatives, judges, prosecutors, the police, the military, prison officers, journalists, university professors, and businessmen, among others, are under terrorist threat.