El Hoyo in Palma. | Miquel À. Cañellas


El Hoyo (the Hole) is a shanty town located at the end of the Camí de Ca na Verde between Secar de la Real and Establiments in Palma. This development of shacks and buildings that have been put up in an illegal manner is seen as the natural successor to Son Banya as the main "supermarket" for the sale of drugs.

The National Police have drawn a distinction between El Hoyo and Son Banya, the latter of which is to undergo a process of demolition. Son Banya has been the centre for the trafficking of hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, whereas the drugs business in El Hoyo has mostly been confined to marijuana. In fact, the clans in El Hoyo are considered to be the main suppliers of marijuana.

With Son Banya the regular target for police raids and now on the point of being demolished (the first phase is scheduled for next month), El Hoyo is starting to take over the trafficking of hard drugs.

There is a great deal of similarity between the two shanty towns. One of these is the fact that there is just one point of vehicle access. This allows residents of El Hoyo to keep a watch out for any police movement and to warn sales points if police are seen.

There was a major police operation in June 2013 when ten people were arrested in El Hoyo for the trafficking of marijuana. More recently, the National Police became aware of the theft of electricity being used for marijuana plantations. For some months, therefore, there has been no street lighting, as the electricity was cut off. The president of the association for the integration of the gypsy people, Manuel Alameda, registered a letter of complaint with Palma town hall, which expressed concern about the security risk posed by cutting off the electricity and referred to "a lack of respect and inhumane treatment".