Are Southern Spain and its drugs wars safe for retired expats?

Are Southern Spain and its drugs wars safe for retired expats?

Are Southern Spain and its drugs wars safe for retired expats?

Southern Spain is still the favourite destination for many British expats, but do they realise they’re walking straight into a long-running drugs war?

In this troubled world, nowhere is safe from criminal activity of some kind, but in many countries, the risk may not be evident until after it’s too late. Spain’s Mediterranean coastline is a prime example due to its mix of criminal gangs from Eastern Europe, Columbia, the UK and the Irish Republic. Geographically, it’s the perfect location for drugs sent from South America, with its shoreline also an easy drop-off destination for North African hashish.

As the demand for illegal drugs gets ever stronger with cocaine at its epicentre, Spanish police are aware this war is never-ending. For British retirees arriving for the region’s sunny weather, its reasonable cost of living and its already established UK expatriate communities, it may seem the laid-backlifestyle is everything they’d dreamed of. However, a list of drug-related incidents as well as police corruption tell a totally different story, one which might well result in ending the British preference for a Spanish idyll.

New expat arrivals tend to overlook bar brawls involving drunken Brits, much as they did in the home country, but the never-ending lists of arson, shootings, murder, money laundering, prostitution and the general mayhem of competing criminal gangs can’t be swept under the carpet for long. Sadly, retired expats do get caught up in the mayhem, simply by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, to the extent that many don’t now go out at night, even to walk the family dog.

The local rumour mill gives hints of trouble to come, but for those who left the home country for a quiet life in the sunshine, there’s nowhere to go but back to the UK, an alternative most consider as unacceptable. Police who’re working endlessly to end the slaughter and the stain on the region are convinced the drug wars will never end, as demand will always exceed supply and there’s too much money to be made.

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