Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A team was sent to Playa Punta Esmeralda Tuesday to dismantle an illegal wire fence that was put up over night. Although the fence was erected several days ago, it wasn’t until now that the mayor spoke publicly about it.
Mayor Lili Campos learned of the blocked off public cenote over the long Mexico Independence Day weekend when locals reported the fence. The posts and wire fence were put into place by an individual who is the alleged owner of Hotel Corazón.
That right of way to Punta Esmeralda is a space that the people of Playa del Carmen have historically used to reach the beach and it must be respected, said Mayor Lili Campos Monday.
“The right-of-way that our people have used for many years must definitely be respected,” she said. “It is an issue that we are going to have to deal with,” she stressed after acknowledging that without permission from the municipal administration, posts and barbed wire were placed to block access.
Campos says the municipality will do whatever is necessary so that the Punta Esmeralda Beach remains public. On Tuesday, the wires were snipped and the poles removed using heavy machinery.
Over the long weekend, residents heading to Punta Esmeralda were greeted by a closed off space by barbed wire in the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat) area of the beach.
The mayor explained that the Punta Esmeralda beach is the heritage of the community. “We are taking care, there cannot be privatization here because they would be transferring something that belongs to the people and must be defended.
“Here is your mayor fighting in this regard and believe me, that this is ours. We are going to take care of it and we are not going to allow anyone, much less an individual, to come and say that it is their property,” she explained after learning the details surrounding the fence.
Lourdes Varguez Ocampo, the Director of Solidaridad’s Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat), said the posts and wire were put there by owners of an adjoining property and that they did not have permits to build or place poles in that area.
“The properties adjacent to Punta Esmeralda have historically been owned by private individuals. In this case, it is apparently the Hotel Corazón. We still do not have documents that prove it, but they quickly fenced off the access that leads directly to the cenote,” she said.
Varguez Ocampo explained that the adjacent land owners are allegedly annoyed by the continued passage of people and the use of the land to clean sargassum. While people use the road to access the beach, an area is also used by the city to separate the seaweed from the sand.