THE COSTA del Sol has become the battleground for drug gangs in a fight for control with a growing death toll. Two fatalities in Marbella, one in Fuengirola and the most recent in Mijas were all victims of shootings in the street. “There are no limits,” say sources, who fear that this violence will degenerate into “Public shootings with innocent people in between” as previously happened in 2004 when a 7-year-old boy was shot dead in the center of Marbella at the hands of a hooded man. It is no longer the time of honour among thieves on the Costa del Sol. Police pressure over the years has eliminated the old generation of traffickers, who have now been replaced by unscrupulous people who will let nothing get in their way.
The struggle of state and security forces to try to end this uncontrolled violence is relentless. In recent months, the National Police and the Civil Guard have managed to connect several cases in a collaboration with authorities in other countries. One of the most famous was that of former Malaga CF player “Koke” Conteras, the alleged leader of a gang from which officers seized a ton of hashish. The criminal group, with 20 detainees, had several of its connections in the provinces of Seville, Malaga and Granada.