24 Jul, 2009 @ 11:39
1 min read

‘They must be caught’

THE son of a Finnish tourist, beaten up in an apparent racist attack in Ronda, is demanding swift police action.

Mika Russ was horrified to learn that his father – a “peaceful and gentle” man – had been bottled from behind as he entered a bar with his 50-year-old German friend Martin Dehmer.

He explained how his father Jaakko Russ, 56, had been on holiday in the mountain town getting over the recent death of his wife from cancer.

He had entered the bar El Paso at around 4am on June 14 to buy cigarettes, when he and his friend were set upon.

As revealed in the Olive Press last issue, they required hospital treatment. Martin almost lost an eye and suffered broken teeth and cracked ribs, while Russ had to have a crack in his skull stapled.

The attackers shouted racist abuse during the assault.

Mika said: “I am furious at what has happened. My father has never even hurt a fly, and I can’t imagine a more peaceful, and liberal man.

“What I know about Martin is the same. He´s a good man too!”

Mika is disgusted at the inaction of the police and is now demanding a full and in-depth investigation into the attack.

“The attackers shouted racist abuse during the assault”.

“It is outrageous what has happened and I will never set foot in Ronda again, because you could possibly lose your life there and nothing happens to the perpetrators.”

The Olive Press has meanwhile tried to get more information on the attack from both the police and town hall.

According to a police spokesman “the investigation is continuing, but as yet no arrests have been made.”
The town hall has so far made no comment.

The Olive Press knows of a number of other violent attacks on foreigners in the town over the last two years.

On three occasions vicious attacks have been effectively brushed under the carpet.

On one occasion a Dutch bar owner was beaten up just yards from where the El Paso attack took place, while a British bar owner was glassed by a Spanish attacker in O’Flagherty’s Irish bar earlier this year.

In another more sinister incident, a British woman was deliberately run over by a Spaniard, during a fight in the centre of the town in 2007. While the Britons involved in the scurmish were swiftly and publicly fined, the Spaniards involved apparently escaped prosecution.

The Olive Press website had a deluge of comments after the last issue’s report.

Doug Wills praised the trio of Spaniards for agreeing to be named in the article.

Meanwhile Quiroz Alvarez de Munoz urged his fellow-countrymen to count their blessings that Spain has foreigners here who have invested in the country and influenced change.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. I am visiting Ronda since 1996 and up to now never heard of any of these attacks from my friends in Ronda. a strange story, did it happen at night or during daylight….

  2. Hi, Pierre

    The incident to which you refer took place in the early hours of the morning. Yes, there have been a few attacks over the years, but, as the article, which I wrote, indicates, they tend to be brushed under the carpet, probably because the town doesn’t want the bad publicity.

    There is also a suggestion, alluded to by John Gill in the letters page of issue 65, that the police are not as interested in following up assault crimes involving foreigners. Whether that is true or not, who knows?

    However, let’s not get carried away – these are isolated incidents – more often than not fuelled by alcohol – which can happen in any large town. Ronda is a perfectly safe place to be. I hope you will keep on coming here.

  3. I bet Paul Whitelock is popular with the Ronda tourist board lol.

    Interesting about the police not investigating crimes involving foreigners – perhaps that would be a more worthy investigation from Mr Whitelock?

  4. hi paul, even if I did not want to come…. I have to , I am married to a Ronda girl……. We are not living there but the family is….. In a week or so i am again there…. always nice to try if the bars from a few months ago still are there and their tapas are as good as before…

  5. Hi, Pierre
    Lucky you, having a ready-made reason to come to Ronda. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the bars as much as before – there are some new good ones, eg Platos Rotos, Los Bollito’s and La Venencia, to name but three. Enjoy!

  6. C/ Santa Cecilia? where is that then , in front of faustino ?

    Pza Carmen Abela ? , is that the one next to La Farola ?, I have seen the last time I was there they where changing.( same owners ? )

    C/ Pedro Romero … enter the street where on 1 corner is el rincon de manolo and the other is el ciber ?, strange street to put a bar…. but yeh, in ronda they not always follow northern logic….

  7. Yes, Platos Rotos is directly opposite Bar Faustino.

    Yes, Los Bollito’s is next door to Bar La Farola and is in fact now owned by Rafael of La Farola.

    No, C/ Pedro Romero is opposite the bullring – the alley where Unicaja’s exhibition hall, Hermanos Macías and Bodega La Verdad are. In fact, a brilliant spot to put a bar.

    There are also the long-established bars in Barrio San Francisco, which are also excellent and good value for money, eg Bar Almocábar, Bar Benito and Bodega San Francisco. But you probably already know them.

  8. I was in bollitos, looks modern, tapas are good but the girls who work there are chosen foor the looks…. but not really for brains or friendly ness…. The other I will visit soon. keep you updated

  9. Yes, the girls seem unfriendly, but the less skinny of the two on in the evenings, Lidia, is nice enough and is polite and smiles sweetly if you talk to her. The skinny one is dreadful, I agree.
    The best of the bunch I recommended is, in my opinion, Platos Rotos.

  10. @Fred, Tapas bar yes, topless bar….no ;-). But this is a tapas bar…. so….

    Anyhow i like more la lechugita or el rincon de antonio, in the past hechetepaja was a super bar , but sadly enough the building is demolished…

  11. No Chris, you just can’t operate your computer properly lol. Pierre’s comment – which is quite accessible – even uses smileys. You really must keep up with Internet etiquette and get a sense of humour (maybe not the latter actually). Also learn to reply in the correct thread.

  12. @ Paul, as stated by me “always nice to try if the bars from a few months ago still are there and their tapas are as good as before…”I indicated to test the ones I know to see if they are as good as before.. Since You told me about new ones I am happy to test them.. ;-)

    @ Chris ; Humor is different for everybody. Maybe it was not your style… and you like other humor.

    Then A lesson Internet etiquette, if you write LIKE THIS TO SAY SOMETHING YOU ARE SHOUTING AND THIS IS CONSIDERED IMPOLITE…. ( ps nobody did it but just in case :’) )

    Anyhow to go back on topic… I asked several people here in Ronda, most of them did not hear about those attacks and they are surprised it happened here. The ones who heard are doubting what the real story is since it happened deep in the night…. Anyhow whatever is the real thing, I myself did not noticed anything against Guirris… But I only go to local places and mingle with the Spaniards. But I am still curious to know more details..

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