La Línea: Shadow of Narco (2020): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript

In La Línea, drug clans act with impunity. The town's police force and its mayor, Juan Franco, detail how their home became a smuggling hot spot.


-Can you give me more power?
-Power up.

-Is it there or not?
-Let's take a look.

Okay, Jesús. 

If we stay in front of Salvamar,
we won't see a damn thing.


I like the reaction part the most.
That's the beauty of this partnership.

I'm good at running and...

the adrenaline keeps me going.

You're good at driving the car
where it needs to go,

so, yeah. That's it.

This is a piece of cake.
We're like machines, wham bam.



They're on their way out
through the channel.

I'm not sure if one is the Guardias
and one is the bad guys.

It's always been a hotbed
for drug trafficking,

contraband, back in the day,

human trafficking, document forgery...

It's a hot spot between two continents.

-They're taking out tobacco.

About 15 to 20 people
running along the east shore.

-Can any unit back me up out here?
-Alpha 30, roger that.

Alpha 30 back up.

Okay. Over. Keep in touch.

Let's go! We're coming in!

There are tobacco boats everywhere.
They're working flat out.

We're at 300 feet.
We're flying low tonight, man.

We have to stay alert in this fight.

We need help from politicians, our bosses,

and everyone who can help us
put a stop to this.

Did you hear that? They're moving
from the border to Tonelero.

There are a few there.

-Who are those guys?
-That's them!

This is a speedboat, right?

They just keep going.

They don't care. They just keep going.

Call them in!

They're leaving it.

Hold on.

-That way.
-Down on the beach.

Get down!

Estrada, man, watch the engine!

We don't want to kill anyone,

but sometimes you get the idea
that they don't really care.

Ask them if they need anything.

Hands behind your back.
Do you hear me? Hands behind your back.

Partner, get me the cuffs!

They could have killed you
with that engine, man.

Hey, cuff these guys.

The police are needed here,
and I think, without the police,

I don't know what it would be like
but this place would be a total mess.

You think it's okay to hit my partner
with the boat?

-I didn't do that, I swear.
-No? So who was it?

The truth is that the problems here
have been going on for decades.

Algeciras, La Línea de la Concepción
and the Campo de Gibraltar

are the connections joining
two continents: Africa and Europe.

Everything comes through here,

especially the three issues
that cause the most concern

in Spain and in the EU,
in terms of criminal activity:

terrorism, drug trafficking
and illegal immigration networks.

Almost five tons of hashish
have been seized in La Línea

in a major drug operation...

...the tragic death of a local policeman
in La Línea, Cádiz,

was, for many, an inevitable casualty.

Anyone who says
they're not afraid is lying.

At one time or another,
you're always going to be afraid.


We don't have enough resources right now

to fight against drug trafficking
or against tobacco smuggling.

Local and national police
and the Guardia need more support

because they are dealing
with mafias, smugglers and drug lords

who are better organized,
with more sophisticated strategies,

and also more lethal.

Everyone knows their place
in the organization.

From the top down to the bottom.
From the general to the foot soldier.

They are completely organized.
I've never seen anything like it.

I've never seen that.


-Look who it is!
-What's up? How are you?

-Good morning, sir.

-It's good to see you.
-Here for the usual cut,

and get the beard trimmed.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself,

but I think I am the mayor
with the worst problems in Europe.

It's true that a small minority
of our population...

MAYOR OF LA LÍNEA involved in illegal activities,
mainly drug trafficking

and tobacco smuggling.

People ask me, "Juan, how many people
are involved in this?"

I can give you a list
of the bars in town.

I don't have a list of the drug dealers.

-It's good to see you.
-Look after yourself, Francis.

-Atleti are up there at the top.
-This year, we win the League.

They are a very small minority
that can't be ignored.

Most of the economic activity is legal,

but part of the money those people make
comes from the drug trade obviously.

There's a geographical component.

If Morocco is twenty nautical miles away,

about thirty kilometers,

and Morocco is
the world's main producer of hash,

then obviously the hash isn't going
to come in through Poland.

-See you later, gentlemen.

Let it rain!

You're going to get wet, Mayor.

-What can you do?
-Do you want an umbrella?

No need, thanks.

Life is completely normal here,


you're not going to go to a certain beach
at 4:00 in the morning,

because you know
what you're going to find.

To deny that is to deny the facts.

I don't have a bodyguard,

even though they call this place
Little Medellín.

I try to be careful
and avoid certain situations.

To be honest, I've never been afraid.

I won't say I have to look under my car
to see if there's a bomb,

but I have to be careful
in certain places.

The city's image is in tatters

and that's causing
serious collateral damage

to the tourism and investment sectors.

How are you going to say,
"Come visit my town,

it's 12 kilometers of virgin coastline"?
Whoever comes here loves it.

The problem is convincing them to come.



People here always have the same feeling.

They feel abandoned, forgotten about,
a lost cause...

How long have we been out here

complaining, asking for help?
They keep telling us that soon...

La Línea de la Concepción is still
one of the Spanish towns

that has been the most neglected
and abandoned

by the political establishment.

Our politicians must take action...

INVESTMENT NOW! that Madrid can hear our pleas

and show them we are all willing
to fight for our town,

united as one.

We need a plan that deals
with the lack of education in the town.

Thirty percent of the unemployed
don't have secondary education,

and half don't have primary education.

To put it plainly, they don't know
their ass from their elbow.

They don't know how to hold a tray.

Have you seen any police cars?

The 092 emergency call center has closed.

I couldn't call the Chief of Police.

In the last three and a half years,
we've had five Police Chiefs.

Three and a half years.
There's no stability in the police force.

Why? Because there's no incentive
for those people to stay here.

The government has been negligent.

There are less police, less Guardias.

How do we fix this?

There has to be an overall plan,
but I repeat,

until there is a decisive plan of action
from the State

and the regional government in Andalusia,

we can't fix this on our own,
no matter how hard we work.

You can see a narco boat
passing just meters away

from three youths paddle surfing
in the area of Punta Europa.

Drug traffickers take advantage
of the lack of police presence

in the Campo de Gibraltar area
to do as they please.

The impunity of drug trafficking
in the Campo de Gibraltar knows no limits.

Look how they're unloading the stash.

Narco boats are now part
of the Cádiz coastline

and they are not afraid of the police.

According to investigators,
the Castaña clan

are responsible for transporting
70% of the hashish coming into Spain

through the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Castaña clan are known to be
the biggest organization

involved in hashish trafficking
in Campo de Gibraltar.

Antonio Tejón, a leading member
of the Castaña clan...

...has an estimated fortune
of over sixty million euros, 

thought to be hidden in caches.

...a very well-known clan.

The Castaña clan...

The Castaña...

They're a well-established clan...


...they've lived all their lives here.
They're locals.

So, obviously,

there's no question

that they are the two characters

who make the biggest impact
in our social context.

I've moved to a new house twice.

Antonio, "El Castaña," told me himself
that he knew everything about me.

He let me know that he knew
who I went to high school with.

It wasn't a threat as such.
He just wanted me to know

that the biggest drug trafficker
in the Campo de Gibraltar

knew all about me.

Antonio is practically God around here.

He has given away lots of houses.

He has a group of people
who are completely loyal to him.

People love him,
they see him as a regular person.

That makes you realize that this place
is unlike any other...

PUBLIC SECURITY that respect.

In the neighborhoods
more sympathetic to the narcos

and the tobacco smugglers,

the welcome we get...

POLICE OFFICER pretty hostile, to say the least.

I've had firecrackers thrown at me
from windows,

some colleagues were greeted
with Molotov cocktails.

Don't talk about rights.

We've treated you well.
Given you everything.


-I didn't say anything.
-I'm working, just like you.

You're bringing us down.

Obviously, there are decent people
who are suffering...


...but the town is divided.

Every night, 300 motorbikes come
through here. No police.

-No one can sleep here.
-No one comes down here. No one.

The National Police just sit there.
No one comes.

You say something to them
and we have to move our cars,

because they slash our tires,
break the windows...

They want the parking spots
for themselves, for their jeeps.

-No one comes down here.
-They park their cars here?

They move my car so they can park theirs.

If there was no police presence here,

this would be like the Wild West.

This would be Narco City,

they would make their own laws,

like it is in Colombia.

We're going.
While we're here, we're not working.

-See you later.

The nights in La Línea de la Concepción
are unpredictable.

You never know what might happen,
who's going to be working,

you don't know who'll be moving tobacco,
if they'll be bringing in hash...

Look, Lieutenant. There's the gap.

Every night,
everything usually happens at night,

there's some type of tobacco smuggling,
to a greater or lesser extent,

from the beach or through the fence.

They're going to be working here tonight.



-They've opened it up again, Lieutenant.

That means they're going to work again.

They're working tonight.

We're going to use two cars
so we can cover from above and below.

When they come out with the tobacco,
we'll move in.

Okay, we'll see. We'll wait for a bit.

Let's wait and see if there's movement
at the fence.

See what Juan says,

and see...

if the bikes show up.

Okay, so take up positions
out of sight near the gap, right?

I feel like another piece in this game,

if we can call it that,

in the fight against drug trafficking
and smuggling.

The truth is we're all very important.
We all have a job to do.

We have to feel this way,

that we're part of the solution
to put an end to this.


Two motorbikes coming in right now.

Get on them. They're leaving now.

Get on them.

Okay, they're moving.

Move it, goddammit!
They're leaving. Move!

They're making a turn in the car park.

Coming into the roundabout from this end.

They won't stop.


If you want to stop a drug trafficker,
they won't stop.

They'll keep going.

There they are.



-He's empty.
-Right. They're going to load up?

Station, urgent call.

They're getting away.

Along the boardwalk.

Heading down La Línea boardwalk,
past 24, going west.

Hold them there. Pick me up, Damián.

-Do you see the motorbike?
-I have them.

-They're turning back.

Being on the street in La Línea is--

Every time I finish my shift, I'm like,

"It's been a good shift because
we've had no injuries or casualties."

The crew's over there. Look.

Get down!

Get down!


They took off like the hammers of hell.

I tried to get to them,
but two big women blocked me.

I was like, "Get out of my way, bitch!"

They're well organized.

They have lookouts on motorcycles,
in cars, on foot,

on the roofs.

I think this city has been neglected
for a long time,

and now we're suffering the consequences.

There's been a lot of apathy,
too much tolerance...

A lot of tobacco has been allowed in,
a lot of hash,

and suddenly we want to cut it off?

That's clearly impossible.
It's so ingrained,

it's hard to stop just like that.

-What happened?
-Someone came running in here but...

Which one?

Honestly, I've never been afraid.

You've got to be very careful,
but I've never been afraid.

There's no reason to be afraid.

A wife abuser lives here.
I was here the other day.

It depends on the neighbors.

It depends on the area,

some people get annoyed if they see us,

in other places, they're glad to see us

and even applaud us.

As I said, it depends on the area.

I don't have binoculars.
Let's take one more look.

A little more to the left.

A little bit more. There you go.

Don't make me look like an asshole, man.

That's perfect. Just give it a minute.
Stay calm.


I can see lookouts, man.

Do you see his arm?
There in the boat with the lights?

I've just arrived here in La Línea
and he's very experienced,

but I consider it a challenge...

to try and be at that same level
and show him

that I can work well alongside him.

Is there usually activity here
at this hour?

The lookouts are starting
to get into position.

We'll take a look and see
if we can spot them on the balconies.

Look up there, see? A lookout on the left.
Don't be too obvious.

You see his head?
They don't even try to hide.

Look! Up there beside the light.

Do you see him on the left?
Up there, right where you're looking.

Guardia Civil calling National Police.

Go ahead.

We have a lookout here
in front of the harbor.

I'm looking, but I can't see him.

Right in front of the harbor,

there's a group of red houses.
The lookout is on the roof.

The lookouts are youngsters,
normally between 16 and 18 years of age.

They're young people.

On a good day, they could be earning
between 1,000 or 1,500 euros per job.

The lookouts always know where we are.

Yeah, every move.

There's usually about 50, 60 lookouts
per stash.

-Jesus Christ!
-They're watching us constantly.

They always know where our vehicles are.

-All of them?

I thought long and hard
about requesting this posting in La Línea,

and I think it's been worth it for me.

People say to me,
"You're really going to La Línea?

That's hard work there.
It's a dangerous place."

I don't think I'll give up.

You're always aware of that,

but when you go out on the street
for the first time,

it really hits you where you are.

I don't think
drug traffickers are heroes...


...they're villains, right?

It is a tempting way of life, though.

I'm a self-employed mercenary
working in drug trafficking.

I obey my own laws,
my business, my work

and we live outside the law.

I move any illegal substance,
from cocaine to hashish.

They are different businesses,
but they are blending into one nowadays

because the new routes are coming in
through Africa, through Senegal,

and from Morocco.

The boats that used to come in
loaded with hash

are now loaded with cocaine.

Getting hash out of Morocco
is very simple.

They bring it down from the mountain,

normally in jeeps
or even on mules, on animals,

down to the beach.

To get it out, they'll have paid off
the soldiers or the police.

If you don't pay, it doesn't leave,
because there's a sentry every 100 meters.

I'm here taking a look...

We pick the guys up and take them
to where the boat is unloading.

They are always there waiting, in hiding
for about half an hour or an hour,

because the boat has to wait
until it's okay to land.

Once the boat lands,
everything is set up and organized.

It has to be done as quickly as possible.

The crew loads the jeeps
in four or five minutes,

and they take off to the warehouse.

The more people you have unloading,
the faster it is.

The closer the warehouse,
the faster the goods get there.

You're looking for speed, safety
and efficiency.

They take off running, unload the boat,
load the jeeps and away they go,

in every direction.
Last man out is a pussy.

Let's go. God bless and good luck.
All good.

Justice for all.

I'm going down 70, okay?

I started out of necessity...

and I kept going
because of the adrenaline rush.

If you like risk and adrenaline,
some do skydiving,

some do bungee jumping, others do rafting,

and some are drug traffickers.

We always try to have
as normal a life as possible.

No one knows what I do.

You have to be very honorable in this job.

Why? Because if you have no honor,
you're dead.

The narcos are totally organized.

They all know where they stand
in the organization.

Their boss is God.

They earn a lot of money
in a very short time.

They have to look after the golden goose.


At about 4:00 p.m. yesterday...


...some policemen came to the ER,
like they usually do,

with a suspect.

They didn't know who they were up against.

It was just another suspect,
a normal arrest.

We had no idea
how important this suspect was.

Hospital workers from La Línea, Cádiz,
gathered today to request more security.

Many were witnesses

when a group of men in balaclavas
broke into the ER yesterday.

The group of 20 men were armed
with sticks and knives.

The suspect was accompanied
by two policemen,

who were unable to resist the attack.

Investigators are currently examining
security footage.

The latest news from La Línea
is of a sighting here yesterday

of Samuel Crespo

the same man who was freed
from the hospital in February.

He was seen with the leader
of the Castaña clan, 

but has since fled
and his whereabouts are unknown.

The hospital breakout happened

while there was an arrest warrant
out on the Castaña brothers.

My colleague told me
he was put against the wall.

He was held up against the wall
while they freed the suspect.

Get down!

Hands behind your back
and on the floor.

Please, just a minute.

What we're asking for is more security,
but in order to have that security...

The structure of the ER
isn't prepared for that.

Why are there no resources?
I don't know.

I'm not insinuating anything.

The drug traffickers have become stronger

and have orders
to never give themselves up,

or to submit to the police.

The drug trafficking clans
are evil industries...


...and they have to keep on
producing evil, which is what they do.

This all got out of hand a long time ago.

It's been out of control a long time.

If we don't respond to the enemy,
over time obviously,

we'll get to what's happening
in South America.

We need backup at the horse track.

They're shooting at us!