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Police in riot gear evict squatters from Playa del Carmen land

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Nine people were taken into police custody Thursday during a Playa del Carmen land eviction. The arrests were made for entering the sealed property which had been seized by the state.

Playa del Carmen Municipal Police Director Gerardo Arzate said the squatters were evicted from the land which had previously been seized by the state (FGE) and is part of a current investigation.

He said that once on site, the illegal invaders began to hurl rocks at police. One person was injured and received medical attention for a forehead cut. The land eviction took place Thursday in the irregular Las Torres colony of west Playa del Carmen.

According to Arzate, police had previously notified the invaders that they were on the land illegally and had to leave, but they ignored it.

Santiago Chávez, Director of Citizen Participation said agreements were reached with the squatters who will be given an opportunity to collect their personal belongings.

People run after warning shots were fired. Photo: Feb. 8, 2024.

He said the attempted evictions of the Alfa y Omega and San Judas Tadeo lands that make up approximately 190 hectares has been ongoing for more than a year. The land, he says, has owners and the squatters were asked to not build since the property had been seized by the state, however, they built anyway.

Police in riot gear are seen in the background during the eviction of hundreds of illegal settlers.
Photo: February 8, 2024.

The eviction took place Thursday morning with police arriving in riot gear. It was their third attempt to vacate the seized property of its illegal tenants. This time, they were supported by National Guard and State Police.

According to an official statement from the State Attorney General (FGE) Friday, “the property located on Paseo del Mayab Avenue in the Ejido Playa del Carmen became part of an investigation on March 31, 2023, after receiving a complaint for facts possibly constituting the crime of dispossession to the detriment of an individual and against a group of people who arrived at the place with knives and sticks to enter the property.

“Likewise, on April 7, 2023, a Prosecutor from the Public Ministry ordered the securing of the property.”

The FGE says they did not order the Thursday eviction of the illegal settlers and have begun an investigation to find out who did.