ANOTHER week on the Costa del Sol, another gangland slaying.
The latest was a 60-year-old Frenchman who had been eating at the Da Bruno restaurant in Mijas.
Before that was Peter Andrew Williamson, gunned down in a professional hit as he sat in his Audi outside his house.
His death came less than a week after a man described as ‘Arabic’ was shot and killed and another seriously wounded at their apartment, less than 15 minutes’ drive from the Brit’s shooting.
When you consider that 2019 also saw the murder of Puerto Banus personality Marco Yaquot, gunned down outside his villa in San Pedro, as well as the discovery of bodies close to the Istan Road as well as on the main A-7, you begin to get more than a little concerned about the direction that Marbella seems to be heading in.
Police are looking at the killings as a ‘settling of scores’ between drug gangs.
Those of a cynical disposition could argue that means the case is pretty much closed.
- REVEALED: Shocking timeline of violence on Spain’s Costa del Sol sees up to four Brits KILLED as emboldened drug mafias use bombs and assassinate enemies in broad daylight
There has been little in the way of leads in the Yaquot case, or the drug dealer machine gunned in his garage in Sierra Blanca the year before that, or the Spanish gym and beach bar owner who was shot by a gunman on the back of a motorcycle as he parked his car at his daughter’s communion.
In the past two decades Marbella has changed beyond all recognition as the town has gained a reputation as party central for both wannabe bad boys (and girls) and serious criminals.
You only have to see the number of powerful luxury cars driven by guys who look like they are filming a rap video to get the sneaky suspicion that perhaps they didn’t all get their money from prudent saving schemes or a private equity venture.
For better or worse, Puerto Banus seems to have embraced the ‘flash the cash’ culture, and the Port has seen the arrest of several wanted criminals on a bit of down time, seemingly thinking they are untouchable in Marbs.
You could argue that Marbella has always been a sunny place for shady people, going all the way back to London crime figures Freddie Foreman and Charlie Wilson in the 80s. But these latest slayings seem to be something different altogether.
While Marbella tries to entice the super wealthy with its gastronomy, climate and lifestyle, and the police are seemingly stretched in keeping tabs on the drug smuggling free for all that is the Campo de Gibraltar, perhaps a settling of scores doesn’t rate very highly.
But if the ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ attitude continues, where ‘what happens in Marbs, stays in Marbs’ can include disappearances and killings, then Marbella needs to take a long, hard look at the problem before it spirals any further out of control.