14 Feb, 2024 @ 11:34
2 mins read

Revealed: The eye-watering amounts drug cartels offer young people to work for them in the Campo de Gibraltar – one of the poorest areas of Spain

Gib la Linea
CAMPO DE GIBRALTAR: La Linea has long been seen as a hotbed for drug-related crime

THE huge sums of money that young people can earn trafficking drugs between Morocco and the Cadiz coast has been thrust into the spotlight after two Guardia Civil officers were killed last week.

The brutal killings, and subsequent arrests of a number of infamous narco traffickers, has brought the scourge of drug trafficking into the national spotlight.

David Perez, 43, and Miguel Angel Gomez, 39, died instantly when a narco launcher rammed their smaller speed boat in the port of Barbate.

Despite the risks, the lure of easy money is strong in the Campo de Gibraltar, one of the most economically deprived parts of Spain.

Young people with few opportunities for legal employment can earn €600 just for keeping an eye out for police or port officials.

For helping to unload hash shipments delivered on the infamous ‘narco launchers’, young people can walk away with €2,000 to €4,000 for just 15 minutes work.

If they move up the ladder and help to unload hash on Cadiz beaches, they can walk away with €2,000 to €4,000 for just 15 minutes work. 

This is according to Francisco Javier Mena, the president of Alternatives, an organisation which fights against drug addiction and social exclusion in Campo de Gibraltar.

In a region where job prospects are scarce, and many are grappling with unemployment, educational failures, and precarious living conditions, these offers are incredibly enticing, he argued.

“That amount of money is very tempting for anyone – what alternative do they have?” he asked.

“Working as a waiter on minimum wage?”

READ MORE: PICTURED: Narco boss Kiko ‘the goat’ who ‘killed two police officers’ in Spain’s Cadiz as part of a ‘revenge…

Youth unemployment  in the Campo de Gibraltar is around 60%, and school truancy is seven times higher than in the rest of the province of Cadiz, Mena points out. 

The campaigner is calling on vocational colleges, trade unions and business owners to come up with training schemes to offer some alternative to the lure of a life of narco trafficking.

Civil Guards David Perez Carracedo and Miguel Angel Gomez González
David Perez, 43, and Miguel Angel Gomez, 39, died instantly when a narco launcher rammed their smaller speed boat in the port of Barbate.

“Only then will people have the possibility of deciding between an honest life or a life dedicated to the world of drugs,” said Mena

“When a young man tries drug trafficking, he never returns to an honest life,” he added.

To compound matters, many residents do not see drug trafficking as a major blight on the region.

Most of what is brought in across the Strait of Gibraltar moves onto Holland and other central nodes in the European drug distribution network.

“The social perception is, in general, that drug trafficking does not affect them because their children are not taking the drugs that come in.

“What’s more, hashish is not as frowned upon as other harder drugs.”

Tomas Pacheco, patron of the Barbate fishermen’s guild, observed that drug runners have for a long time been able to operate with impunity in the region, taking advantage of the less surveilled ports like Barbate.

“Fishermen have long been calling for increased Guardia Civil presence and port closures at night to avoid getting entangled in such dreadful events,” Pacheco declared.

READ MORE: WATCH: Locals cheer as a ‘narco launcher’ evades police in rough waters off southern Spain – moments before vessel…

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]

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