“We are going to die standing, we are not going to live on our knees.” “There are four rotten people of money and give it to the people.” “What a shame to hear those scoundrels cheering on drug traffickers.” “What outrage.” “Enough already.” The town of Barbate (22,551 inhabitants, Cadiz) is standing after this Friday a drug boat rammed into a Civil Guard zodiac, killing two agents aged 39 and 43 and leaving two others injured, one seriously who is recovering while waiting for surgery this Sunday. arm.
The pain, the anger, the rage runs through this Cadiz town that this Saturday took to the streets not for what it should be in February, singing carnival songs, but to unite in a unanimous cry against what they explain is the oppression of a people under the tyranny of the drug trafficking. At twelve o’clock the city council had called a rally to protest what had happened. There was no free space in the square. While the citizen security delegate spoke and asked for “more security and more means” to fight drug trafficking, the people burst into applause. “There are no words to describe the indignation,” said Francisco Ponce, municipal official. “More than ever we must be united,” he asked the people.
Barbate is not mourning, it is something more. And he proclaims it without fear this Saturday morning. ““More means”, “Enough is enough”, “You leave them alone, they take some little boats”, the Barbateños shout. The people assure that they can’t take it anymore. “Long live the Civil Guard”, he says spontaneously. “Long live” the hundreds of concentrated neighbors respond in unison. The stigma that it seemed they had managed to get rid of has returned.
In the town they know first-hand who the people who drive the drug business are. And they also know that the Civil Guard does not have the resources to stand up to them as they should. On Friday, the agents wanted to recognize and arrest the occupants of the six drug boats who were taking refuge in the port of Barbate and who, as on other occasions, were “making fun” of the State security forces. The Civil Guard “did not even have the means to lower the zodiac” with which they had to approach the modern drug traffickers. An unequal battle: six narco-boats with three outboard engines against a zodiac that is only three meters long.
Ángela Alba, a 52-year-old resident of Barbate, shouts it when asked what she feels. “Outrage, rejection, shame for those people who have been cheering a murder against those who were there to protect us.” “In Barbate we do not depend on this,” he says about drug trafficking. “We have the label, it has taken us a lot to get out of it, when we are getting there this happens and it is outrageous. “They have no means to combat what exists.”, points out this neighbor. “The painful thing is that you say Barbate and people associate you with drugs again. Again, when it seemed like we were finally dating,” she laments.
“What do I feel? Very angry. We are going to die standing, we are not going to live on our knees, we are going to continue fighting for our town, for our people, they will not be able to defeat Barbate. It’s 30 years, it’s okay”says Manuel Benítez (70 years old), whose voice breaks while giving his testimony. “Those videos cheering on drug traffickers, what shame, what anger, what indignation. Four scoundrels are laughing at an entire town,” adds Isabel Pacheco (56 years old). Manuel takes the floor again, he chokes when he says it, but he says it: “They are rotten with money, they are happy and screw the whole town, that’s enough, we’re done blaming the neighbor.”
With tears in his eyes, José María Vuela (35 years old) He says it’s all “very sad””. “What a scourge, we never get rid of it,” she laments. “These tears come from pain, from that sambenito that we do not take away, ‘picha’, we pay justly for sinners with a minority that does not represent Barbate,” he declares to El Correo de Andalucía.
The city council has decreed three days of official mourning. All carnival activities have been suspended. A group of young people was going to have a drug dumping party and the ‘guy’, as the costume is known in Cádiz, will not go out on the street. Mariano Barrera is 29 years old and was from that group: “It makes no sense to take it out out of respect for the deceased. We see it every day, it was meant to laugh but it’s not funny anymore,” he admits. And it’s not just Barbate. It’s Sanlúcar de Barrameda, La Línea, Algeciras… “Many people eat this, but you can’t cover it,” says the chirigotero. In the town they are convinced that, since the death of these civil guards, there will be “a before and after.” Barbate, after years of struggle, has once again said enough.