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A 32-year-old Spanish citizen died Wednesday at the hands of police on the Philippine island of Siargao, police sources confirmed to EFE that the incident occurred during a drug operation.
This is Diego Bello Lafuente, who resided temporarily in Siargao, an island located 800 kilometers southeast of Manila and very popular with surfers, where he had several businesses related to tourism .
Philippine police say Bello was a "high-value drug dealer" carrying 10 grams of cocaine and 30,000 Philippine pesos in marked bills ($ 600) and valued the action as a "successful operation in the fight against drugs." .
Bello was taken to the hospital, where his death was confirmed, according to the spokesman for the Surigao del Norte Regional Police, Reynel Serrano.
"It was an operation in self-defense," said Serrano, who maintains that Bello was carrying a 45-caliber pistol and fired at the agents first.
The Spanish embassy in the Philippines is collecting information about the event and has not wanted to comment on what could be the first Spanish killed in the bloody war on drugs in the Asian country.
Human rights organizations have denounced that the Philippine police falsify evidence to justify extrajudicial executions in the bloody war on drugs that began three years ago under the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The United Nations and human rights defenders have criticized the climate of impunity of the anti-drug campaign in which some 30,000 people have died, mostly in extrajudicial executions at the hands of the police.
Police have admitted to killing about 6,700 suspects in raids, although they claim that they all resisted arrest.
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