I took this picture of pro-ETA graffiti on a trip through Spain’s Basque region early in September of 2001:
I’ve considered doing an ETA Tour along the lines of my FLNC Tour in Corsica or my Bombs and Bullets Tour in Northern Ireland for quite a while now. However, with ETA activity declining for years and the declaration of a permanent ceasefire in January of this year, I question the relevance of an ETA Tour at this time.
Judging by the number of visitors, it is the current and most recent conflicts that you, my dear readers, are most interested in when it comes to these investigative trips. I fear that an ETA Tour at this time would be akin to a Breton Revolutionary Army Tour of Brittany or a Front de libération du Québec Tour of Quebec. While these might, in fact, be interesting investigations, as a humble servant to my dear readers, I must go where your interests lead me…
I’m going to keep all of my notes, but I am going to shelve this project for now. Depending on how the world evolves, it can be revisited down the road as needed…
I’d be interested in a “conflict zone” update on the activities of the maras, or gangs in Central America. Especially in Honduras and in El Salvador, these pandillas have supplanted formal government control in some areas. There is a truly chilling, “Lord of the Flies” aspect to seeing entire streets empty at the approach of a bunch of tattooed 13-year olds. They reportedly owe their existence to the “blowback” effect of US involvement in the anti-Sandinista efforts of the Reagan Administration.
Thank you for the suggestion, Mike. Your comment made me realize that I should have solicited my audience far sooner to see what THEY were interested in.
I am happy to tell you that Central America is at or near the top of the list right now of future destinations. I’d like to cover the block in the middle that was so active in the 1980s – El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras – and that remains active today partly as a result of the activities in the 80s. Of course, I’d like to give a good overview of what things are like right now with the drug wars and the gangs and such, but I’d also like to dig a bit into the Contras, Sandinistas and the events of the 80s as well. After all, the two are connected… I’ve been researching the exact locations to visit, the history of each area, etc. and now have a folder that is quite full of notes, photographs and more. I hope to put it to good use soon.
Thanks for the encouragement.
would LOVE an ARB or ETA tour.