9 May 2022: Heroin from Holland; Horchata benefits; Atlantis?; happy Pontevedra; & Other stuff

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Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

This headline came as a surprise to me: Galicia has become the logistical centre for heroin distribution throughout Spain. I thought it already was but I was confusing heorin with cocaine. The text of the article is below.

In 1937, George Orwell read Ortega y Gassett’s book Inverterbrate Spain but was unimpressed by the latter’s list of factors behind his adjective. These included: the Spanish soul, tradition, Roman history, the blood of the degenerate Visigoths, the influence of geography on man and of man on geography, and the lack of intellectually eminent Spaniards. Quit a charge sheet.

Spanish research points to the likelihood of land-masses in the Atlantic, now vanished. Details here

Why you should consider drinking the Spanish version of Horchata/orxata. A probiotic?

Pontevedra was painted purple last night, following a draw(tie) which meant automatic promotion to a higher league. Good news, of course, but there are many leagues in Spain and the team is still come way away from La Primera Liga. Sadly, the team of rival city Vigo – Celta – is rather closer. This was the scene as I went into town at 7pm. It was rather more raucous by 9pm:-

Merry but not violent, as ever in Spain.

This celebration is taking place in the Plaza de Teucro, the city’s mythical Greek founder. I don’t suppose he played football, though.

Quote of the Day

Once you actually witness the vitriol from self-appointed gender guardians, you will be shocked. As I was when spat upon and called ‘scum’ by members of the Marxist Socialists Workers Party when entering a Manchester building for dinner with a Conservative politician. Idealists can be very violent indeed. As can nationalists. Who are also idealists I guess.


In the bit of Orwell cited above, he  uses the word ‘forrarder’ to mean ‘further forward’. ‘Chiefly humorous’ says one expert. And ‘Chiefly British’ says Merriam Webster. Not these days, I imagine

Autogynephilia(AGP): Loving oneself as a woman. Said to be displayed by the majority of males with  gender dysphoria.      

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.


Galicia becomes the “logistic center” of heroin for the Peninsula

Pontevedra province has historically been the gateway – first for smuggled tobacco, then hashish and, finally, as of now, cocaine. However, and although the international mafias continue to bet on the South American white powder, the distributors of a much more harmful substance, well known for its devastating effects, have become strong in the northwest of the peninsula. The Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, in its latest Annual Report, and the National Police, represented by the head of Group II of the Pontevedra Udyco, coincide in launching the same alert: the province has become a great “logistic center” where heroin arrives directly from suppliers, skipping intermediaries in Madrid, for its subsequent distribution in Spain and Portugal.

“The star here is cocaine, but we cannot forget about heroin. Galicia, and Pontevedra in particular, is a recipient province of heroin for the entire Iberian Peninsula. This does not mean that the heroin is going to stay in Pontevedra, but we see that the drug trafficking networks already here are being used. They are not the classic ones related to the sea, but the same way of working of the Galicians, the seriousness of the organizations. Eastern European criminals value this very much and count on the drug traffickers in this area for the distribution of heroin”. Inspector Abreu, who has been in charge of one of the most prolific units in Spain in the fight against heroin for five years, warns that “a lot of heroin comes in. It’s true that it doesn’t stay here, although some of it does. It is distributed to Portugal and also to Madrid, from where it is distributed to all of Spain”.

The coordinated work between the Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office and the different police forces, not only the Udyco, but also the Greco and the ECO and Edoa units of the Civil Guard, has borne much fruit, such as the recent capture of ‘Javillo’, one of the big names when it comes to trafficking this drug, not only in Galicia, but also in Spain.

“For my group, heroin is the goal. We fight every day against all substances, but we have in focus this problem with heroin”, continues the inspector, who assures us that “heroin is much more difficult to obtain for the organisations themselves. Heroin production has nothing to do with cocaine production. It arrives in much smaller quantities, but much more is obtained from a kilo, much more is cut”.

Regarding its transportation, in which individuals of Bulgarian and Albanian origin, among others, are specialists, Abreu stresses that “it arrives much more hidden, especially prepared in cabins inside vehicles, and it is very difficult to find. Investigations are more exhaustive and with added difficulties”.

Lastly, the researcher describes those who deal in this type of substance by distancing themselves from those who ‘move’ cocaine or hashish. “The heroin traffickers are different, older people, more serious in the business, on the basis of words  given. They seal agreements with a handshake and that goes to mass, something that does not happen with cocaine or hashish, where they are more informal”.

The memory of the Prosecutor’s Office, for its part, points out without hesitation that “the Galician organizations dedicated to heroin dispense with Madrid as a possible place of passage and receive the drug through high-capacity routes”.

“Heroin usually comes from Holland. There it is the epicenter, the great warehouse of Europe”. José Abreu is clear about the origin of most of the shipments of this drug, coinciding with the Prosecutor’s Office of the Audiencia Nacional, which points out that “Galicia is a logistic center for the distribution of heroin coming from Holland by road”.

The head of Group II of the Udyco points out, however, that not all the heroin arriving in Pontevedra comes from Holland, but that “it is also received here directly from Turkey and Afghanistan by transporters, normally Bulgarians. We have clearly detected both routes”.

Regarding the suppliers, the police officer explains that “those who send the drugs are mostly Albanians, Kosovars, Turks or Turkish-Dutch. The shipments are received by members of long-established organizations in Galicia, who distribute it. There may be some Albanians or Turks already settled here to coordinate, but they use the seriousness and security that Galicians transmit to them to do these businesses”.