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Lengthy lawsuit ends with annulled construction permits for Cancun hotel

Cancun, Q.R. — After years of litigation, a judge has ruled the construction permits for a Cancun hotel void. The ruling was handed down April 5 by the Second District Court after determining several problems with the environmental impact statement.

One of those problems was the desired location of the hotel, which was located in the polygon of the Playa Delfines Flora and Fauna Natural Protected Area (ANP). Within that area, licenses for construction cannot be issued on the north side of polygon 3 of Playa Delfines where the Gran Solaris hotel intended to build.

The ruling was the result of an Amparo lawsuit initiated by the organization Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment who, in 2020, worked with the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) to integrate lot 52-01 of Block 53 — where the hotel intended to build — into the Playa Delfines ANP.

The decision was backed by then Cancun mayor Mara Lezama, who is the current Governor of Quintana Roo.

Workers for the hotel sectioned off part of the Cancun Hotel Zone beach which was found to be in a sea turtle nesting area.

With this recent ruling, the court ordered state and municipal authorities refrain from issuing permits for the development of urban infrastructure on that same land.

The ruling also established that the land use granted to the hotel was done so irregularly and “without foundation”. Furthermore, its construction “would generate adverse environmental impacts” with “environmental risks” that would affect the conservation of the Playa Delfines ANP.

Among the impacts are the fragmentation of the habitat of sea turtles, the loss of biodiversity of the coastal dune vegetation and the decrease in water quality due to discharges of liquid waste.

A judge ruled the construction is in a federal natural protected area.

The previous permits granted for the construction of the 450-room 15-floor hotel, which began in 2016 and were granted in 2017 by then Cancun mayor Remberto Estrada, have been annulled.