Two Guardia Civil officers have died and two others have been injured after a drug-smuggling boat rammed into them in Barbate, located in the province of Cádiz. Sources close to the case said that the seriously injured officer has suffered an arm amputation and is currently in a coma.
One of the deceased officers and the other seriously injured belong to a Rapid Action Group (GAR), while the second Guardia Civil officer who lost his life is from the Specialized Underwater Activities Group (GEAS). There has been a significant deployment of police units in the area since the incident occured.
On social media, videos several minutes long have been circulated showing people on the pier cheering on the drug traffickers to sink the Guardia Civil boats.
The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, stated this Friday that the Campo de Gibraltar is already “almost” being considered a Zone of Special Singularity, a constant demand from anti-drug associations and police groups.
Speaking to journalists after presenting the fourth Special Security Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar covering six Andalucían provinces in Algeciras (Cadiz), the minister defended that this plan is already underway in this region, and the government has allocated “economic resources both at the personnel and material level” that make it deserving of this declaration “de facto, not de jure.”
The Interior Minister highlighted that the number of personnel in Andalucia has increased by 11% in the last five years and by 16%, specifically, in the Campo de Gibraltar. “We currently have the historical number of personnel, and we have also increased the salaries of our police officers and Guardia Civil officers by 38%,” the minister declared in this regard.
Furthermore, the Ministry of the Interior explained that the National Police and the Guardia Civil have seized 1,668 tons of drugs in the deployment territory of the Special Security Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar since its implementation in July 2018 to combat organizations dedicated to drug trafficking and smuggling in this Cadiz region.
REACTIONS FROM ASSOCIATIONS
The Unified Association of Guardia Civil (AUGC) deeply regretted these “tragic events” and, pending further details of what happened, demanded from the Ministry of the Interior “a thorough investigation of these seriously occurred events.”
The professional association Justice for the Guardia Civil (Jucil) recalled that they have requested better resources for the area, lamenting the death of two officers and another seriously injured. “We shout loudly and clearly that the cruel murder of two Guardia Civil officers requires an immediate and strong response from the Ministry of the Interior,” they argued, while calling for the reinforcement of personnel and the implementation of the Zone of Special Singularity “to fight against the criminal drug traffickers who today have taken a step further in their escalation towards increasingly dangerous crime for citizens.”
Additionally, Jucil regretted the images and videos posted on social media, with people “cheering on the authors of this murder and laughing at the Guardia Civil officers” who, “with their poor and scarce resources, have died while trying to fulfill their duty: to prevent drug trafficking and the entry of drugs.” Furthermore, they demanded the resignation of the Minister of the Interior “who has shown himself incapable of solving the serious problems that drug trafficking causes in southern Spain,” as they denounced.
From the National Police union, Jupol, they also criticized Marlaska’s Special Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar, insisting that it is a “complete failure” because drug traffickers continue to act “with impunity,” thus demanding the resignation of the Interior Minister.