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Agepro in legal battle over Bacalar land

Bacalar, Q.R. — A legal battle continues between the state and a private resident over land in Bacalar. The battle became heightened after the owner of the land installed a dock in the sea that created a fence-like barrier to an ecopark.

Alberto Alonso Ovando, head of the Agencia de Proyectos Estratégicos de Quintana Roo (Agepro), says the battle is not over a land invasion, but over construction in a Natural Protected Area.

According to Ovando, the unnamed private owner of the land says the state gave him the right to the land years ago. However Ovando says the state has a zero use policy for the land, which means no building.

“It is not an invasion it is a legal issue. It is a trial by an individual who claims that many years ago the state gave him the right to that land and has brought a lawsuit against various authorities,” he said.

The area is protected so “absolutely nothing can be done there,” he said, which is why they are fighting the issue legally. He said that in the invaded land areas, the state has been working with nearly every person.

“We have been working the state lands. In Tulum we are very advanced in helping them get title to lots and in Mahahual, with some of the groups, we are working to regularize them,” he said.

Ovando says that outside those cases, there are some people who are dishonest and claim title to national land because Sedatu gave them a file number. From there, they began to sell the land which is a federal crime.

“They are stealing money from families who will never be given legal certainty for the land they paid for,” he added.

He explained that throughout the country there are 70,000 applications for national land titles. Of those, 11,000 are in Quintana Roo. “The problem of selling land that cannot be sold is quite serious,” he acknowledged.

He said that people who requested deeds to the land they bought have gone years without an answer, so they have turned around and began selling the land illegally. Now, the government is resolving those requests, which in many cases, turns out to be a negative response.