One man was killed and two more badly beaten on Monday night when armed men burst into an isolated farm in Casares municipality alongside the border with Manilva. Guardia Civil investigators say that the evidence so far points to an error by a gang searching in the wrong place for the drugs of a rival gang.
The man who was killed was a 37-year-old goatherder. He was watching television around 10pm on Monday with a colleague in the simple farm building. In the next room the owner of the farm, a 72-year-old man from nearby Manilva, was asleep.
According to the account of the two attack victims who survived, five hooded people with weapons burst into the property and demanded to know where the drugs were kept. What followed was four hours of torture in which the men were hit and kicked. All three were tied up, however one of the goatherds put up a harder fight, dying from his injuries.
The ordeal lasted until around 2am on Tuesday, when the attackers, realising that one person had died, fled the scene, taking the victims' telephones and stealing a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi outside. This was found nearby by Guardia Civil. The surviving goatherd was able to free himself after some time and reach Manilva to raise the alarm.
Investigators say that the victims have no police record and appear to be innocent, suggesting that the attackers had gone to the wrong place. The modus operandi, including the rural location on the Malaga-Cadiz provincial border, is in line with past activity by drugs gangs who search out the isolated safehouses where rivals have stashed the drugs, police have said.
The niece of the owner said on Tuesday that there were “only goats and wind” on the land and that fortunately, by chance, the profoundly deaf sister of the owner, who normally slept there, was ill and was staying with family in Manilva.