At 7.30 on Monday evening over one thousand people gathered outside Los Barrios town hall to show their support for two local men, Jorge Cano and Juan José Ramírez – who face three years in jail in Morocco on drugs charges. The mayor, councillors and residents all insist they are innocent.
I have reported previously on the “Tangier Two” who went fishing with Jorge’s young son,
David, off Tarifa on June 5 but in thick fog they found themselves instead metres from the Morocco coast with little fuel. They called the Spanish coast guard for help but were detained by a Moroccan patrol.
At first they were detained for having entered Morocco in an irregular manner – without passports – but later as bales of drugs and a jet ski were found in the area they were accused of trafficking.
There is no evidence to link them with the drugs and the Spanish coast guard knows the identity of the Jet Ski owner but will not release the information to the Moroccan court as it would break the data protection act.
Los Barrios council passed a motion voicing their unreserved support for Jorge and Juan on July 30 and the mayor and spokespersons of all the parties visited them in Tangier on September 9 to show solidarity and to review their case.
However Monday was the day when the people of Los Barrios came on to the streets to declare their belief in Jorge and Juan’s innocence and to plead for their release. Their court appeal is to be heard on September 28 and the Spanish consul hopes their lawyer will be able to reveal to the court the identity of the Jet Ski owner.
The Spanish ambassador to Morocco has been carefully watching the case and has been working in conjunction with the consul in Tangier. Their efforts have prevented Jorge and Juan from being held in prison until after their appeal hearing.
It is also known that the Spanish Foreign Minister and Minister for the Interior have been kept fully informed of developments. However as Senator José Carracao, who knows one of the family’s involved, stressed to me prudence was the watchword as it is a judicial and not a political matter.
There is a Facebook page, which can be found at: Libertad para Jorge y Juan, through which residents of Los Barrios have been showing their support. Now everybody awaits September 28, with their hoped for acquittal, especially as an agency of the Spanish Government could prove their innocence.