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Group of Playa del Carmen street vendors protest against police harassment

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A group of around 30 street vendors arrived at the old Municipal Palace in central Playa del Carmen Wednesday in protest. The group, with handmade signs, claimed police harassment.

The group went to the old city hall building saying police constantly threaten them with jail time, while taking away their phones, merchandise and cash.

While chanting, “we want to work, we want to work,” and claiming “police are the real criminals”, they also requested a meeting with city officials. The Secretary General of the City Council, Juan Novelo Zapata stepped outside to meet with them.

After hearing them out, they were invited to present their evidence and file official complaints with the Comptroller’s Office. “If there is any disagreement on the part of the citizen, there are the corresponding internal bodies,” Zapata told them.

In the afternoon, there was a meeting held between the street vendors and city officials who explained that the group were dissatisfied with the operating rules in the tourist and beach areas.

They were told that they must comply with city rules regarding trade on public roads.

“We will listen to their requests and we will see what the situation is,” Zapata said adding that the group also claimed police arrest minors. Zapata noted that “there is a lot of child exploitation here.”