Son Banya - an endless tussle between the clans and the authorities. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


At the start of April, Palma town hall vowed to remove a form of fortification that had been created at the Son Banya shanty town.

Clans in control of what is often referred to as Mallorca's 'drugs supermarket' had put up wire fencing, wooden panels and building blocks, having first brought in heavy machinery to level ground and make foundations.

The purpose of all this was to make police operations more difficult while at the same time making life easier for those going to Son Banya to buy drugs. LED lights indicated entrance and exit points; the panelling provided greater privacy, as it prevented observation of drugs transactions.

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Later in April, the town hall did dismantle the fortification. Teams of workers were sent in along with heavy police cover. New buildings that had sprung up were also taken down.

Undeterred and possibly taking advantage of police involvement elsewhere - Son Gotleu most obviously - the clans have once more put up barriers and lighting. Numerous bags of building material can be seen. There are access controllers at the entrance. They check on individuals arriving to buy drugs, paying particular attention to any possible undercover police.

The clans are thumbing their noses at the town hall and police, seeking to make clear that they are in charge. "They can come as many times as they want. The more shanties they knock down, the more we will build."