THE recent ‘war’ that appear to have broken out between drugs gangs on the Costa del Sol in Spain has led to calls for a radical shake-up of the policing system.
Today a fifth man was gunned down in just the past few weeks in the Marbella and Mijas areas, but this is seen as the tip of the iceberg, with cases of kidnappings and torture also being uncovered.
Law enforcement authorities are taking this extremely seriously as they view it as damaging to a region that had managed in recent years to break the upward trend in criminality on the Costa del Sol.
In fact, so successful have they been with their anti-drugs operations that some people argue that this has been the cause of the recent bloodletting.
Andalusian spokeswoman for the Unified Police Union (SUP), Mariló Valencia, explained that ‘narcos’ are looking for culprits in police successes.
He said: “In 2017 we found that when there were big police operations narcos looked for those responsible, and then made ‘settling of accounts’.” This means executions of suspected police informers.
In other cases, one gang has stolen drugs for another and there have also been attempts to take over a clan’s leadership. All of these lead to violence.
Now the SUP is advocating the creation of a single state body aimed at investigating these cases on the Costa del Sol. Valencia said: “There is a game of competence between the National Police and the Guardia Civil that is not effective,” adding that a change of police model. “We are asking for a single police force that can move freely.”