Andalucia’s Defensor del Pueblo (Ombudsman), José Chamizo, has asked Marbella Town Hall for an explanation, following a spate of immigrant arrests in the town. The Partido Popular’s local councillor for citizen safety, Francisca Caracuel, ordered a zero tolerance policy for those who sell their wares by foot in the town, which has resulted in 500 arrests in a few months. Most of the sales were of counterfeit goods, but 17 Chinese beach masseurs have also been arrested. The Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) has criticised the harsh treatment meted out by the police: “We don’t doubt that this method of selling is illegal, but the way it is being dealt with is not adequate.” Sr Caracuel is reported to have referred to the immigrants as “a threat” and as “invaders” of the town. In two recent court cases, immigrants charged with such sales have been released, given that their profits were minimal and the activity was necessary for their survival.


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