In a corner of Spain, a struggle to staunch drug smuggling

LA LINEA DE LA CONCEPCION, Spain (AP) — Crime gangs have turned this neglected town in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar into a key European entry point for Moroccan cannabis resin.

“Right now, we are losing this battle,” said Francisco Mena, leader of Nexos, a federation of local community action groups that offer rehab for drug addicts. “Trafficking can’t be stopped with the human resources and material means that we have in place at the moment.”

He insisted the war could still be won. But such optimism flies in the face of the brazen drug operations witnessed by Associated Press journalists.

One of the area’s most notorious “narcos” insists that the illicit trade is here to stay.

“Trafficking has always existed, and it always will. If not here, it will move elsewhere along the coast,” the gang leader says.