Guardia Civil officer dies during pursuit of suspect
A 47-year old Guardia Civil officer died on Thursday following a collision during a pursuit of a suspect vehicle whose driver had failed to stop at a routine control.
The officer, named as Fermín Cabezas González, from Algeciras and married with a son, died at the scene and his colleague was also injured in the incident.
Spanish press reports said the vehicle had been loaded with drugs, although there was no official confirmation of this.
Other reports also suggested the driver involved in the incident had been arrested near Jerez de la Frontera.
The incident happened in Los Barrios near the outskirts of Algeciras late Thursday afternoon.
Algeciras city council decreed 24 hours of mourning and said flags in the city would be flown at half-mast.
Jose Ignacio Landaluce, the mayor of Algeciras, said: “We stand next to his widow, his son and those who shared the life of this exemplary citizen of Algeciras, who died in the line of duty.”
Other mayors from around the Campo joined in offering condolences and expressing their sadness at the loss of life.
A minutes’ silence will be held at 10am on Friday morning outside the council in Algeciras, with other municipalities in the Campo also planning similar acts of remembrance.
The incident comes against the backdrop of months of intense law enforcement activity in the Campo targeting organised crime networks that smuggle drugs across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco.
In Gibraltar, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo wrote to Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, Spain’s Minister of the Interior, and to Mr Landaluce expressing his condolences on behalf of Gibraltar and its people.
“As you are well aware, reports speak of the officer appearing to be in pursuit an individual suspected of illicit activity, possibly related to the drugs trade,” Mr Picardo wrote to Mr Grande-Marlaska.
“It is very sad that another life has been lost to this war that we are all united in fighting.”
“I have conveyed our deepest sympathy to the Mayor of Algeciras and asked him to transmit the feelings of the people of Gibraltar to the family of the deceased.”