Guardia Civil searches among olive trees for two bodies of day laborers

by Lorraine Williamson
search for bodies

The Guardia Civil is searching among the olive trees of ‘La Moratilla’ for the bodies of the two day labourers who disappeared after a quarrel with their employer. Agents from the Guardia Civil’s Central Operational Unit (UCO) inspected ‘La Moratilla’. This is a 7,000-square-metre olive farm in Villanueva del Arzobispo (Jaén).  

The farm is owned by the olive trader. He is under investigation for the disappearance of two African seasonal workers in 2013 and 2021. At the time, they were working for the man. This is according to sources from Caso Abierto, Prensa Ibérica’s channel about open and cold cases. 

According to these sources, the investigation is focusing on finding the bodies of Malian Tidiany Coulibaly and Senegalese Ibrahima Diouf. The investigators combed the site with georadar and with the help of dogs specialised in detecting blood and other biological remains. 

Quarrelled over bad working conditions

However, this is the first time the UCO has searched this olive grove. Moreover, it is located barely 15 kilometres from the house in Villacarrillo where, eight years apart, the trail of the two day labourers was lost after both had quarrelled with their employer, Ginés Vicente. Terrible working conditions were the reason for the quarrels. 

This is an important search for the investigation, because neither Tidiany nor Ibrahima ever worked at ‘La Moratilla’. Consequently, if biological remains are found, the employer would have to explain the discovery, the same sources said. However, despite the fact that Tidiany never worked there, investigators found his ear muffs. This discovery was done at that farm almost nine years ago, in January 2014. Furthermore, the Guardia Civil’s tracking dog found biological remains of a young Malian woman in an olive tree near where they found the ear muffs of the missing Tidiany. 

The search for bodies continues afresh

This new investigation and search for bodies is part of the proceedings conducted by the UCO and the Court of Instruction 1 of Villacarrillo since September. The main suspect is still Ginés Vicente. He was already in court, on charges of kidnapping and making Tidiany Coulibaly disappear in 2013. 

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He was acquitted for lack of evidence, but was convicted of exploiting several immigrants. According to the verdict, he misled and abused them. Furthermore, he took advantage of the fact that they were foreign immigrants. Using the knowledge that some of them were undocumented and did not speak Spanish well. The man was also convicted of obstruction of justice. 

Other places also searched 

The Guardia Civil has spent two months searching various properties belonging to the businessman in the search for the bodies of Ibrahima and Tidiany. Last September, the officers searched another farm owned by the employer. This is known as ‘El Molinillo’ where the two seasonal workers were picking olives. 

The Criminalistics Department of the Guardia Civil also thoroughly searched a garage where, according to investigations, Ibrahima’s trail was lost. In addition, they used a geo radar to search the house where the immigrants were staying and as well in the courtyard of that house. 

Agents from the Guardia Civil’s Special Underwater Activities Group also inspected some natural pools in Mogón (Jaén) on 3 November, with four divers using a metal detector to go inch by inch over the bottom of the mud. 

Also read: End in sight for seasonal workers living in slums

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