In the village of Alcoutim, near the Guadiana river, there are three statues that evoke the collective memory of three present figures in the history of this land and, whose activities are strictly related to this river: the fisherman, the tax guard and the smuggler.
The Fiscal/Tax Guard
The Fiscal Guard was established in 1885 and, from there, local youth saw it as an alternative work activity escaping the hard work and unprofitable life of the field, obtaining later the planned retirement.
Alcoutim section was the Central Office of the Guard. Along the river there were other stations, which saw each other, to be able to communicate by light, shooting and other techniques used. The control of the river was provided by these stations built by the Ministry of Finance. The smugglers were, together with the refugees from the Spanish Civil War, the main targets of the Guard.
Naturally Alcoutim as borderland village iwas prone to smuggling activity, and there was also the poverty economic factor in the region.
Smuggling was done across all the river bank. Wheat and other cereals, figs, coffee, eggs and cattle, among others, were near the village, in times that buyers flocked to Sanlucar village in Spain (in front of the village of Alcoutim). From Andalusia there was smuggling of fabrics and almond kernels.
Fishing in the Guadiana has always been, a uniquely handcrafted work, for the livelihood of the riverside communities. The fishing gear used in the Guadiana not varied much over the years. Spoon (now disappeared), the tale, the letrache, the trammel nets and cast nets were the main gear used in the river.
Some of these arts were used up to till the 90s, when the last village fishermen ceased activity, mainly because of their low profitability and the introduction of legislation establishing a prohibition and restricts the use of certain fishing gear and methods.