THE BOTTOM LINE
A shooting in Marbella is always bad news. Even worse is when through sheer force of habit it stops being news.
For too long now the pearl of the Costa del Sol has grown used to living with incidents of this kind, and while sometimes it seems that they come in waves, it's hard to remember when was the last time that the town went for a couple of months in a row without hearing the sound of gunshots.
Specialist analysts might well differentiate between the cases and say that not all shoot-outs are the same.
There are the typical score-settling shootings against gangland bosses who came to the Costa del Sol looking for some peace and quiet that lasted until their past caught up with them.
Then there are the murders that creditors use to warn their debtors that there is a type of business where failing to pay back a debt is not an acceptable option.
Then there are the revenge shootings over the theft of goods or a battle over territory.
There are the fights between gangs from the Campo de Gibraltar area who have been pushed further east by police pressure.
And there are the brawls among drunkards who, in line with the sector in which they develop their, let's say, professional activity, go around armed with guns to be ready for events that could fit into any of the aforementioned categories.
The people of Marbella couldn't care less about these differences.
They have been hearing for years that there's nothing to worry about, that Marbella is a safe town and that these incidents are a kind of toll payable for living in a place that attracts a large number people with stacks of money, including the undesirable ones with their ill-gotten gains.
Those arguments have always been deplorable, but now, due to the profusion of this kind of incidents, they cannot be tolerated.
Denying a reality or being determined to ignore it won't help to change anything.
We need to get rid of all this low-life scum and we need to do it now.