A couple of days ago I read a report in one of the English language newspapers about the council in Icod de los Vinos being responsible for posting a couple of policeman outside the ‘El Mariposario’ butterfly park, who were apparently questioning visitors.

It would be a crime if the park was forced to close

It would be a 'crime' if the park was forced to close

The paper didn’t mention what they were questioning visitors about, but it was suggested that the police presence was meant to deter potential customers from entering the park because of something to do with political infighting between council factions.

God knows how preventing people from entering the park would benefit the town of Icod in any way, shape or form. Quite the opposite in fact as the park is its only other tourist attraction after the Millennium Drago Tree. However, unfortunately this sort of ‘banana republic’ pitchfork politics isn’t uncommon on the Canary Islands where some individuals in power can take courses of action which seem to suit their own private agendas rather than those of their constituents. (Okay I’ve reread that and thought ‘so what makes them different from politicians anywhere else?’ I suppose the difference is that here it can take the form of little more than schoolyard antics)

We’d written an article about El Mariposario a couple of months ago and, as we were passing yesterday, decided to drop in with a couple of copies of the magazine in which it was published. It was also a good excuse to see if there really were policeman outside.

Lo and behold as we approached the entrance there was, as reported, a local boy in blue standing there.
Curious as to whether he was going to question us, I stood back from the entrance and took a picture of him standing at the entrance…nothing; no reaction.

Andy and I walked through the entrance to the reception and all he did was smile
“Qué tal’ (roughly translated ‘allright mate’), he said as we passed him.
A couple of moments later he followed. Although I think that was because it was drizzling outside and he was interested in talking to a dark eyed local girl standing in the foyer.

As Andy handed over the magazines to the receptionist, I turned back to the policeman.
“Is there a problem?” I smiled at him, playing happy daft. “Nobody’s trying to kill the butterflies are they?”
“No,” the dark eyed girl laughed. “He’s a friend.”
“There’s no problem,” the policeman smiled. “Everything is fine.”
“It’s just that I read in the paper that there was some sort of problem.”
“Oh, it’s just …” the dark eyed girl smiled and rolled her eyes. “…It’s just little politics.”

I dont think its just the butterflies who are living in a cocoon

I don't think it's just the butterflies who are living in a cocoon

I like the Policia Local. The ones I’ve had dealings with have all been friendly and helpful. They’re a bit like old fashioned British Community policeman, like young versions of (if you’re old enough to remember) Dixon of Dock Green. This one was no different. If he was there at the behest of some politician’s puerile request, he looked apologetic and almost embarrassed about the whole thing.
As we left, both him and the girls bade us a ‘hasta luego’.

God, and maybe the ‘odd’ (odd being the operative word) politician in Icod, knows exactly why the policeman was there.

‘Little politics’ the girl had said. That’s exactly what it seems to be.

  1. […] the conclusion that this was as a result of fraud or chaotic mismanagement (this was the same place a policeman was placed in front of the Butterfly Gardens as part of a private political vendetta). In Puerto de la Cruz, following the political shenanigans […]

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