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Federal government warning hotels about blocking public beach access from Cancun to Tulum

Cancun, Q.R. — The Federal Government says it will initiate a series of warnings followed by litigation to force businesses in the Federal Terrestrial Maritime Zone (Zofemat) to open public beach access points.

In a press conference, Rodrigo Hernández Aguilar, general director of la Zona Federal Marítimo Terrestre (Zofemat) said the government is starting with three beach access points in the state, Chacmocchuc in the municipality of Isla Mujeres, Punta Venado in the municipality of Playa del Carmen and Chemuyil in the municipality of Tulum.

He says the warnings are the start of the National Movement for the Recovery of Public Access to Beaches in Quintana Roo, a campaign that is already being carried out in Nayarit.

Hernández Aguilar indicated that, although it is a national movement, he will keep an eye on Quintana Roo nothing that Thursday, two fences were demolished at Puerto Juarez in Cancun. He says the two fences were irregular construction and blocked public beach access.

Of the three beaches in the state, he explained that beach access in Chacmocchuc on mainland Isla Mujeres is closed off by the TRS Coral Hotel, which was verified during a visit. Although they tried to contact hotel managers, they have so far been ignored, which is why, he says, they will start litigation to open the beach.

As for the Chemuyil-Chemuyilito beach access, he says it is closed by a Fiesta Inn and that the hotel group was granted 15 days to agree on the opening of a “permanent and dignified” public access, with a render and a written agreement so that it remains permanent.

In the case of Punta Venado, which is in the hands of Sac-Tun (once Calica), the federal official has requestd the support of Governor Carlos Joaquín González, whom he invited to go to his office to view the cartography and agree on a joint action plan, here and for the entire state.

Hernández Aguilar says that next week, they will be approaching the city of Cancun, explaining that a concessionaire cannot prevent access to the Zofemat section of federal beach, which is defined as the 20-meter strip from high tide.

He mentioned that concessionaires that fail to comply could lose their concession, adding that concessionaires only have permission to use the outlined beach area for commercial activities such as the placement of lounge chairs, but they cannot impede the passage of the public.

The director said that ideally, they hope to have a beach access point every 400 meters, admitting that in Cancun, 90 percent of the beaches are closed off, which makes it necessary to evaluate construction.

He reiterated that for the first warning they will seek dialogue and agreements, leaving it up to the concessionaires themselves to determine where they would open public beach access, but if they do not succeed, they will go to litigation.