Organised crime has left an unprecedented mark on the Costa del Sol this year. Latest figures, made public by the Ministry of the Interior, show that the number of homicides and murders in Malaga province between January and September have increased by 87.5% compared to the same period last year.
The majority of these, according to National Police and Guardia Civil investigations, involve the settling of scores between criminal organisations in coastal areas between Fuengirola and Estepona.
Compared to 2017, not only have killings gone up, so have attempted murders (eight more), kidnappings (from four to six) and crimes against sexual freedom (up 18.8%).
However, despite this rise in violent crime, Interior ministry figures show an overall fall in crime in the area - down 1.1%. Nationally crime has increased by 3.7%.
In fact, the rate of criminality locally, (the number of criminal offences per 1,000 inhabitants), is currently at 47 points - the second best in the last twelve years.
Sexual assault with penetration has fallen by 21.1%, burglaries by 11.7% and vehicle theft by 13.8%.
What's more, according to María Gámez, central government representative for Malaga, the rate of solved crimes has increased by 0.2% to 38.8%.
Across Malaga province, crimes have decreased most in Ronda (-15.5%), followed by Mijas (-6.8%), Marbella (-4%), Alhaurín de la Torre (-3.1%) Fuengirola (-2.7%), Estepona (-1.5%) and Benalmádena (-0.7%).