Drug trafficking: Spanish police officers killed

In the port of Barbate in southern Spain, suspected drug dealers on a 14 metre long speedboat rammed an inflatable police patrol boat in a bid to avoid checks. Two officers died in the incident last Friday, while another has lost an arm. Eight locals with criminal records have been arrested. The Strait of Gibraltar is a focal point for drug smuggling to Europe.

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El País (ES) /

The painful result of collective failure

Spain must finally take up arms against these criminals, El País demands:

“Drug traffickers have become so powerful in the Strait of Gibraltar that they are openly defying the security forces. ... Spain is at the centre of the drug distribution routes to Europe. ... It was only a matter of time before the violence escalated. ... The helmsman rammed the boat to kill the policemen because he thought he could get away with it. ... It should not take the deaths of two policemen for the government, parliament and the judiciary to realise the seriousness of the situation in the Strait of Gibraltar and act with the necessary urgency and determination.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Mafia an attractive career choice in disadvantaged regions

El Periódico de Catalunya takes a look at the root of the problem:

“The force of attraction that the mafia can exert on corruptible police officers, politicians and judges is a major problem that jeopardises the state's ability to combat a range of overlapping criminal activities. It is no coincidence that the same boats used for drug trafficking are also used for human trafficking. ... Drug trafficking has become an important source of income in a very deprived region. How else to explain the calls of support for the drug traffickers in the port of Barbate? Perhaps the tragedy, the deaths and the shame felt by many citizens who are concerned about the activities in their area will serve as an incentive to take action against organised crime.”