Street gang violence has flared up this week as hordes of youths armed with machetes and baseball bats have clashed in the alleyways of Palma.
The city’s police force has been on high alert since Tuesday night after violence between two gangs broke out.
Over 20 local police officers were deployed in the areas of Plaza Fleming, Jacint Verdeguer, and Parc de Ses Estacions to try and head off the confrontations.
The first police units on the scene were surrounded by gang members and had to call for backup in scenes reminiscent of a movie.
The officers then had to get their hands dirty, wielding batons and using force to detain the warring individuals.
These two gangs, identified by police as ‘BPL’ and ‘El Caserío 24/7’ (the ex-occupants of the former bank branch on Avenida de San Fernando), are said to be competing for control over several areas of the city.
The youths involved, most of whom are of Dominican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, or Brazilian nationality, are heavily armed and each group is said to have a minimum of 25-30 members.
According to police sources who spoke to Ultima Hora, there have been multiple threats and attacks in different squares and parks in the city.
The youth were armed with close-quarters melee weapons, including knives and baseball bats, which they reportedly concealed in public areas such as trash cans and banks.
The ‘BPL’ group was reportedly waiting for their rivals because they had received threats that the ‘El Caserío 24/7’ gang were planning to come to Plaza Fleming to face them.
Videos of the gang members with weapons, including firearms, were reportedly posted on social media.
Some of the individuals involved are now hiding in the occupied Joan Crespí branch, a former bank office.