Roberto Saviano declared yesterday that ETA, the terrorist group, is a para-mafia organization. The meme is not new but I think that it can be safely attributed to him. Mr. Salviano is crossing a few bridges in understanding the marginal undercurrents of the Europe of today.
ETA is a terrorist group based in France and Spain. It is traditionally described in Europe as a ‘separatist’ group, a epithet that Spaniards protest when given the opportunity abroad. The foreign agenda of the Spanish government includes the shifting of the perception of the group from a political experiment turned sour to a terrorist group period.
Mr. Salviano claimed yesterday in Santander, Spain, that ETA is funded by the trade of cocaine. It sources the drug from the terrorists of the Colombian FARC. It also trades weapons with the Italian mafia.
How is ETA perceived in English? A simple experiment consists in combining the keywords related to the term ‘ETA’ and noting the results each of the queries show:
- ETA terrorist separatist mafia: 14,000 results
- ETA terrorist separatist: 61,900
- ETA terrorist mafia: 37,900
- ETA separatist mafia: 10,400
- terrorist separatist: 483,000
- terrorist mafia: 1,080,000
- separatist mafia: 66,200
- ETA terrorist: 362,000
- ETA separatist: 151,000
- ETA mafia: 870,000
- ETA: 69,200,000
- Terrorist: 34,500,000
- Mafia: 46,400,000
- Separatist: 2,180,000
I am too lazy to calculate the c-index of these terms but it seems to me the that the co-occurrence of the terms “ETA” and “mafia” is, surprisingly for a such a recent meme, the highest of them three.