Riviera Maya, Q.R. — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he has offered to purchase the 2,400 hectares of land from Vulcan Materials. The land, which is located south of Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, was being used by Sac-Tun, formally known as Calica.
López Obrador says he sent Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, to see about making a deal. The deal came in the form of a letter presented by Barragán to Vulcan Materials. In the letter is a proposal for the formal purchase of the 2,400 hectares that it has in concession in Playa del Carmen.
In a morning press conference, López Obrador indicated that according to the appraisal, the Government of Mexico would immediately pay the U.S. company 6.5 billion pesos for the jungle and mangrove land which cannot again be granted to any private person for its exploitation.
“An appraisal was made. It is official. The Ministry of Finance did it and what are we proposing to them? We are asking them that if they accept, it is a sale. (…) Like all human beings, and much more governments and companies, we must take care of the environment and demonstrate with facts that we do not want environmental change that destroys,” he pointed out.
The president explained that the objective of Vulcan Materials was to expand the bank and extract more material to take to the United States. The two are currently in a legal battle. The current trial prohibits Vulcan Material from continuing with extraction.
If the sale goes through, López Obrador has said he will convert the 2,400 hectares into a protected natural area. The area would become an ecotourism development in the impacted area. The pier used for shipping will be used for the reception of cruise ships.
He said that legal matters will be suspended when the Government of Mexico and Vulcan Materials reach an agreement. Otherwise, the trial will continue.
“It is not an unseemly, abusive proposal. It’s looking for an agreement (…) This is not an expense, it is an investment for us and future generations. Imagine 2,000 hectares of reserves there in the most attractive areas of Mexico and one of the most attractive in the world,” he said.
During the morning press conference, López Obrador was accompanied by the General Director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, Diego Prieto Hernández, who said there could possibly be archaeological remains on the property.