On October 7th, a ranger from Castilla y León, who had stopped a cattle-man driving on a restricted access road within the Regional Park of Picos de Europa (province of León), suffered an attempt of murder, when the man attacked the ranger with an axe. Fortunately, the blow just hit the ranger´s car, leaving the ranger unscathed from the incident, as he had managed to dodge it. Subsequently, the farmer was arrested and brought to justice, but once again the precariousness and insecurity in which Spanish rangers have to perform their duties has come to light.

On October 16th and 18th, rangers from Castilla y León gathered in León, Ponferrada and Valladolid to show their outrage against this new assault and demand improvements in the security conditions in which they have to carry out their duties.

This has not been an isolated case for Spanish rangers: not only because of the terrible murder of two rural agents from Catalonia happened in the province of Lleida in January of 2017 at the hands of a hunter, but also because of the other thirty-one major assaults AEAFMA (Spanish Rangers Association) has registered from November 2015 to October 2018.

From AEAFMA and from the different associations of rangers adhered to it, the creation of a ranger´s state law, which could help to improve and unify their legal framework, as well as improve their safety at work, has always been a priority. It is for this reason that they have worked hard to make it happen. Finally, it seems there is a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel as the Spanish Senate, just three days after this new attempt of homicide, has unblocked the processing of this law in October, committing the Spanish Congress to work on it. There is still at lot of work to get this law passed, but the situation seems to have taken a turn in the right direction.

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Juan Manuel Álvarez Quiñones
Agente medioambiental in León province , Castilla y Léon, Spain