Residents of the Cádiz city of Algeciras were left stunned when, earlier this year, a nine-year-old boy was killed after being hit by a speedboat at Getares beach. That initial shock was closely followed by fears that the incident could spark a war between the drug traffickers who operate in the area. Now, nearly five months after the tragedy, that feared vengeance has arrived. The father of the child was arrested on Tuesday night after he stabbed the owner of the vessel involved in the accident – despite the fact that he was neither piloting the boat nor was he present at the time of the incident.
The boat owner, who sustained chest injuries, had to be admitted into hospital but he is likely to be discharged in the coming hours, according to Europa Press. The stabbing took place at around 10am when the victim, 35, was outside the Cádiz High Court. The man, along with another 13 people, had been summoned to appear over his alleged role in a drug trafficking operation. He was approached by the father of the victim, who stabbed him and then fled the scene.
The victim was neither piloting the boat nor was he present at the time of the incident
The police managed to locate the attacker on Tuesday night, and after intense negotiations, the 28-year-old agreed to hand himself over, despite the fact that the victim was refusing to press charges.
The suspect denies having been at the location of the attack, nor having anything to do with it. However, a witness at the scene – who has no relation to the victim – was key to the man’s identification.
Since the victim is the owner of the boat involved in the May accident, revenge is the main hypothesis being considered by the police. The vessel was used to transport a haul of hash – the exact case that was due to be tried in court on Tuesday.
The suspect has links to the Pantoja clan, a group of drug traffickers in Algeciras that usually work with Abdellah El Haj, known as the “Messi” of hashish. At the time of the boat accident, then-Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido stated that the father of the victim had a criminal record, albeit not related to drug trafficking. The man piloting the speedboat, Pedro M. B. F., meanwhile, did have a criminal past related to drugs.
The 28-year-old agreed to hand himself over, despite the fact that the victim was refusing to press charges
Given fears that the incident could spark a war between drug clans, police stepped up their vigilance of the city in the wake of the child’s death. At the time, the family released a statement invoking their right to “say goodbye” to the youngster “in peace.”
In June of this year the police had to intervene to avoid another retaliation attempt involving the father and the child’s grandparents, who tried to assault the pilot of the boat as well as the copilot, Alejandro J. C. G. The latter was released without charges after it was proven that his involvement in the incident had been merely to stop the alleged killer from leaving the scene. But the boy’s father has, in the end, been arrested for managing to carry out the feared “vendetta” that he had been planning for months.
English version by Simon Hunter.