It's not the first time that Marbella has witnessed score settling between international criminal gangs, whose leaders seem to find the quality lifestyle in the resort perfect for them to enjoy their ill-gotten gains, and the cosmopolitan nature of the resort, in which anything goes, perfect for them to go around unnoticed.
Occasionally, very occasionally, some of these characters come across someone who has come to collect payment for outstanding invoices and there is upset in the town, which is then quickly forgotten as it's not very often that any of these episodes causes, what you could call, collateral damage.
However, in the last few days, Marbella and its surrounding area has seen several incidents that, apart from being worrying, also make you stop and ask if this isn't a new and more undesirable set of circumstances.
Last Monday, an individual with 35 previous convictions on his criminal CV greeted with gunfire the police that had come to arrest him after he caused a road accident in Puerto Banús, where some witnesses had seen him get out of the damaged car with a gun in his hand. The person in question, a British national, was killed in the shootout.
The same day another man, of the same nationality, was admitted to Hospital Costa del Sol with serious injuries after being subjected to an attack involving gunshots and a bladed weapon in an incident that investigators say is, without doubt, a score-settling linked to drugs.
The next day, police deactivated an explosive device of unknown origin but bearing all the hallmarks of being linked to organised crime.
Three incidents like that in just two days could just be a coincidence if it weren't for the fact that in the previous few months on the Costa del Sol events have taken place that clearly show, for those that want to see it, that there is a problem that goes far beyond the occasional unmasking of a local millionaire resident with a murky fortune.
It's really remarkable that, at the same time as on social media and in some political statements you can hear from many people giving free reign to their racism over desperate immigrants, illegal street sellers or other easy targets, virtually nobody is taking a good look at another sort of visitor, who instead of coming in an immigrant boat, comes in a high-end car, and who really does present a problem.
It's always easier to pick on the weakest that confront their problems with determination and bravery.