Dictionary of the narco: accelerated course to understand a trafficker from Cádiz

Drug trafficking and smuggling have been ingrained in Campo de Gibraltar for so long that have become an everyday thing, usual, normal. Incorporated into its idiosyncrasy by a part of the population, which has not hesitated to ‘legalize’ it as a way of life, has been built around this criminal activity a culture and aesthetics ‘kitsch’ that transcends fashion and colonizes language. Because, as if they were academics, the traffickers and their acolytes they have been creating their particular jargon. A ‘narco-vocabulary’ in constant evolution and growth that arose, on many occasions, from the need to deceive the researchers who intercept their communications and that has been replicating and adapting according to the times.

Miguel Angel Ramos, Secretary of Communication of the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) of Cádiz, has been compiling many of these terms and expressions and assures El Confidencial that “the capacity for reinvention” of these criminals never ceases to amaze him. “It so happens that some of these expressions are extended throughout the region, but some are used in specific places, such as the La Janda area, and there are others that are exclusive to certain ‘inches’ —Bandas— ”, says this agent, who explains that there are groups that use their own slang or code to circumvent investigations and avoid ‘overturns’ —Drug theft— from other networks.

The ‘narco-vocabulary’ is in permanent evolution and growth

This unique dictionary, which has been adding to the endless hours of wiretapping and confessions of those involved, welcomes terms from both tobacco smuggling and its subsequent mutation: drug trafficking. Related to the first of the activities is a glossary with which roles, methods or means used are identified.

‘Vallero’ —The one who throws or passes tobacco boxes through the fence that separates Gibraltar from La Línea— is one of those who would be included in the first group, such as ‘pailo’ —Origin boat pilot ‘llanito’ focused on this activity— or ‘Diver’ —Who introduces boxes of tobacco by the sea dressed in a neoprene. The ‘runner’, ‘roadrunner’ O ‘box runner’ He is the one who carries the merchandise on the run.

The ‘elbow’ It is the zodiac type boat that smugglers often use, while the ‘rana’ It is the way they call a particular way of stacking the boxes that forces one of them to go over, giving instructions to the one who drives the motor. The ‘Red’ This is how they call the tobacco of the Legend brand, the most consumed because of its low cost.

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‘Orillear’, for its part, is a delicate maneuver to approach the coast and unload the stash avoiding the action of the patrol boats, which cannot follow the boat because they could run aground. This ‘modus operandi’ is also shared by the hashish and cocaine traffickers, the true protagonists of this unique ‘drug addiction’ in which the figure of the ‘gayumbero’.

“It is the way that some have of defining the narco with capital letters,” says Ramos, who explains that each member of the crew of a ‘rubber’ It is called in a different way depending on its function. “There is the ‘witness’, which is the type of the organization of Maghreb origin who supplies the drug and acts as a notary for the operation to avoid deception; and the ‘gepero’, which is the one in charge of the GPS ”.

Where there is a great variety of alternatives is in the way of referring to ‘points’: young people who monitor and alert to the presence of the security forces. The ‘scootero’, as can be deduced, is the one that usually travels on a moped, like the ‘volaor’; while the fool’ It is the one that stays hours and hours in a fixed place, connected with a telephone and hands-free.

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The Communication Secretary of the AUGC of Cádiz recalls that, once, while watching one of the latter who was on a beach, “I was amazed” when “I saw the a food delivery man who delivered a ‘pizza”.

Better not be a ‘petete’

The auxiliary ‘industry’ of ‘petaqueo’ —Supply fuel to vessels on the high seas— is gaining prominence in recent times for the attempts of the police unions and the Civil Guard associations to stop being administratively sanctioned and become a crime, as in Gibraltar, and for being a focus of attraction for those who want to earn easy money without it risk of being linked to drug trafficking outright.

Photo: Part of the drugs seized in the Zurek operation.  (Civil Guard)
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And, how could it be less, new terms have emerged around it. To the ‘petaquero’, has recently joined the ‘pipero’, which is the ‘busquimano’ of the carafes. “The individual who walk the beach to collect the ‘flasks’ full of gasoline or empty that the tide brings to later resell them ”, details the aforementioned source, highlighting the amount of elements that profit, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.

The underworld of the narco has unique names even for the disgraced, As the ‘dead’ —A repudiated by the organization— or the ‘petete’ “That person they consider a snitch.”

Image of the Maritime Service of the Command of Algeciras (Cádiz) last July.

The boats in which they introduce the caches and with which they have starred in spectacular chases on the water have numerous dominations. ‘Aircraft carrier’ O ‘brings’ they are the large ones “capable of reaching great speeds”. “Up to 150 kilometers per hour in the open sea and with cargo,” adds the aforementioned source, adding that the calls ‘Three legs’ They are the ones with a large drug transport capacity – “about three tons” -. ‘Gomon’ could be another synonym for these.

The ‘must’ it’s the jet ski and ‘wet the moor’ it is when, in their constant diversification of activity, these criminals deliberately throw into the sea the immigrant they try to illegally introduce into the country to escape the security forces.

Some of the expressions arise from varying Arabic words or ‘llanitas’

Because many of the expressions they use have arisen from the action itself, such as ‘cannon’, which is “when it is clear to be able to introduce the drug”; ‘salitre’, which is the way in which in some ‘collas’ they call the bales that are wet due to their contact with the sea, or do the ‘superman’, which is the way to define how the porters are thrown on the floor in order not to be detected before running off to get the merchandise.

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One of the most curious, and that arises from the constant relationship of these criminals with the ‘llanitos’ and their Moroccan suppliers, it is ‘juri juri’. This is one of the ways they have to warn that there is some risk and that it is better to run. “Another is ‘juye juye’ —adaptation to the Andalusian phonetic of ‘flee, flee!’ -“, adds Miguel Ángel Ramos.

The ‘spiders’ and the ‘vampires’

There’s others terms that carry an implicit charge of violence and that they are closely linked to the persecutions and confrontations with the agents who in the Campo de Gibraltar area have caused more than one death. Thus, in the WhatsApp and Telegram groups of these criminals, terms such as ‘sheet to sheet’ O ‘crash crash’ to refer to situations in which a trafficker’s vehicle crashes into a police car.

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Because a special chapter deserves the infinity of ways, almost all derogatory, that they have to refer to members of the Civil Guard and the National Police. Evolving the classic ‘picoleto’ or ‘wood’ and adapting them to specific situations. Thus, there is the term ‘spiders’ to refer to agents who are stationed guarding or waiting for the entry of a stash; or a more recurrent one such as that of ‘cucaracha’. “The ‘berets’ are the riot control units such as the GRS ”, while the ‘glove’ It is what they call the members of the Police Intervention Unit (UIP) for their forcefulness when acting.

This creativity to generate synonyms is extended when referring to the means with which the security forces operate. The Civil Guard vessels receive a multitude of names according to their size, color and model: ‘heineken’, ‘crabeater’ O ‘Rodman’, are some of them.

Helicopters – ‘birds’ in police slang – also collect various nicknames. From ‘cuckoo’, a word with which some refer specifically to the aircraft of the Customs Surveillance Service (SVA), passing through ‘gaviota’ O ‘mosquito’, terms with which they refer to the smaller ones.

Photo: An agent with a trained dog inspects one of the registered homes.  (Civil Guard)
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The ‘vampires’ are unmanned aircraft like drones, while ‘the garbage truck’ It is “the way they call a camouflaged off-road police vehicle that is very old and whose characteristics they know perfectly well.”

Narco fashion

Fashion is another word generator in a context where the ‘brilli brilli’ tracksuit and hoodie go perfectly with a pair of Armani flip flops valued at 80 euros, like the ones Ramos saw days ago on the beach and from which he deduced that whoever was wearing them “was someone important.” Because in this environment, where appearance is almost as important as predisposition to end up behind barsCounterfeits are the order of the day and you have to know how to differentiate them from the original products that the drug traffickers “were going to buy in Puerto Banús.”

In the narco world, the ‘brilli brilli’ tracksuit and the sweatshirt combine perfectly

“The ‘gucci’ It is the fanny pack that they usually carry with their tobacco, wallet, mobile and their things, while the ‘hood’ is the sweatshirt and the ‘omega’ it’s what they call the clock, ”says the aforementioned source, who adds that the drug traffickers “They have devalued the value of all these luxury brands”.

Miguel Ángel assures that this jargon is constantly boiling and that expressions that are now in vogue become obsolete within a few weeks. Because, as he remarks, we cannot ignore that the main purpose of this sublanguage is that they are not understood. “It is their code so that we do not hunt them down”.

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