Guardia Civil officers seized yet another large haul of cannabis resin yesterday, on the eve of today’s planned demonstration in Algeciras against the impact of the drugs trade on communities in the Campo de Gibraltar.
Officers moved in after spotting a rigid-hulled inflatable boat approaching the coastline near Tarifa to unload the drugs.
They seized 83 bales of cannabis resin weighing 2.5 tonnes but were unable to arrest the vessel’s occupants, who fled the scene.
News of the seizure came ahead of this evening’s street protest in Algeciras and followed the death of a young child in a boat collision off Getares beach.
Although the death was not directly linked to the drugs trade, the people involved in the incident had criminal records for trafficking and one of the boats involved was similar to those used by smugglers.
The child’s death has outraged communities across the Campo and increased the perception that, despite a tough response from law enforcement agencies, organised gangs continue to act with impunity.
This evening’s demonstration has been organised by a civic platform called ‘For your security, and everyone else’s’, which brings together NGOs that have long campaigned against the drugs trade in this area and organisations representing law enforcement officers in Spain.
Despite widespread criticism that the central government in Madrid must do more to tackle the drugs problem in the Campo, the organisers called for unity.
“This demonstration is only against drug traffickers,” said Francisco Mena, who leads Nexos, an organisation which campaigns against the impact of the drug trade on communities in Cádiz province.
“This is a call for citizens in the Campo de Gibraltar to raise their voice in opposition to this excessively dangerous situation we are experiencing and which projects a very negative image,” he added.
“We urge families to assist so that together, as a society, we can face up to drug traffickers who do so much damage to our communities.”
The demonstration is this evening at 7.30pm in the Plaza Alta in Algeciras.