Spanish Minister Marlaska is not thinking of resigning after the Barbate tragedy

by Lorraine Williamson
Minister not resigning

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska, said on Monday that he is not considering resigning. This is despite demands by several police associationsfollowing the murder of two agents in Barbate (Cádiz).

Marlaska emphasised that he has made it clear to the drug traffickers that these crimes “will not go unpunished.” 

“The drug trafficker knows that he has been cornered for 5 years” 

“The drug traffickers have known this for 5 and a half years. They are cornered in the Campo de Gibralbar.  And we continue to invest in what is necessary and to make the fight against organised crime more effective,” the minister told the media before the start of the ceremony for awarding the medals to the Civil Guard. It began with a minute’s silence. This was followed by loud applause in honour of the officers who died in the port of Barbate on Friday. Marlaska emphasised that this has been the “goal since he came to power at the Interior Ministry.”  He praised the good work of the Guardia Civil for the swift arrest of the alleged perpetrators. 

Grande Marlaska also recalled that hours before the death of these agents, the fourth edition of the special security plan for the Campo de Gibraltar, which extends over six Andalucian provinces, had been presented in Cadiz. 

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Widow’s refusal 

The minister did not comment on the action of the widow of one of the officers who died. She did not allow Marlaska to put a medal on the coffin at the funeral in Pamplona. “Our condolences and we are at their disposal for anything they need,” he said, showing his respect to the victims. “The rest of us can only respect it and continue to work to corner the ‘narco,’ as has been done for the past five years,” he said. 

Criticism of the material 

Grande Marlaska is under attack. His resignation was demanded earlier after the disaster. Five police boats were always patrolling at Barbate. That’s just one now. The government sent the other four to Cádiz, where more drug smugglers are active. The minister is seen by the family of the officer and by many Spaniards as ultimately responsible for the removal of the four boats. In addition, he received a lot of criticism for the use of a zodiac that is much smaller than the drug boat in Barbate. And on the dismantling of the OCON-Sur unit years ago.  “The fact is that the police resources now have “nothing to do with the policies of the PP governments, which had no regard for security”.  

Defense 

Sources have stressed “not a single coordinating body has been deactivated since the plan for the Strait of Gibraltar began”. The 150 reinforcement officers who were part of OCON-Sur in 2018 have been part of the staff of the commandos in the area for a few months now. In addition, there is the coordination and intelligence centre CRAIN. Grande Marlaska made it clear that he wanted to continue his policy against drug trafficking. 

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