Gibraltar: A gateway for drug smugglers

On the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, a stone’s throw from the Moroccan coast, the Strait of Gibraltar has turn into a gateway for the trafficking of substances between Europe and Africa. The 14-kilometre stretch of water sees a endless procession of speedboats loaded with hash and cocaine, in spite of a police crackdown. Our journalists travelled to the close by Spanish the town of Los angeles Linea to satisfy citizens suffering from drug trafficking, whether or not they are taking part in it or combating in opposition to it.

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Throughout the 1970s, drug traffickers made the Strait of Gibraltar their base in Europe. Fifty years later, they appear to have received the combat in opposition to the police.

They’re on the head of an empire that resembles the control of freight shipping firms. At the 14 kilometres of sea that separate Spain from Morocco, they send greater than 280 lots of substances per thirty days. About 80 % of the hash ate up in Europe passes thru right here.

The Strait stays uncontrollable

To battle in contrast unlawful industry, the Spanish government introduced a safety plan in 2018 which is able to run till 2021. Whilst arrests are on the upward push lately, all actors within the sector agree that the Strait stays uncontrollable.

We start by way of getting on board Pedro Luis Bardon’s helicopter. For greater than thirty years, this skilled pilot has been chasing drug-laden boats within the Strait. His acrobatic swoops, as shut as imaginable to the traffickers, even earned him a job within the 2014 movie “El Nino” by way of director Daniel Monzón.

Julio, an ‘organiser’ and not using a regrets

We additionally meet a person whom we can name Julio. This father in his past due 50s is what is referred to as an “organiser” within the drug industry. After studying the ropes from an early age in cigarette trafficking, he now runs, from the Spanish coast, a cocaine and hash community primarily based in Morocco. For him, everybody has a value. On this area the place the unemployment price reaches 40 %, simple cash has the ability to deprave and transform lives, together with his personal and that of his circle of relatives. That is why he says he does now not be apologetic about his number of lifestyles, although it has earned him a number of years in jail.

In the end, we apply José Manuel, a tender retired police officer who has devoted his lifestyles to the battle in opposition to drug trafficking. Even these days, within the corridors of the police, he’s nicknamed “leader”. José Manuel says it used to be he who satisfied infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar to not settle in Morocco, throughout his ten years undercover there.

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