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Police withdraw after settlers refuse to leave Playa del Carmen land

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The eviction of dozens of families from an irregular colony in west Playa del Carmen led to a police withdraw and protest at the municipal hall.

At dawn Tuesday, police arrived at the irregular residential colony of Nueva Esperanza to evict some of the nearly 400 that live there. The eviction was carried out by a judicial order on Ejido land that has been illegally invaded by the squatters for nearly two years.

Once houses were emptied, scores of police created a human shield as heavy machinery torn down the dilapidated make-shift homes. Despite the eviction order and removal of many homes, the residents refused to leave their possessions causing police to withdraw from the area.

Shortly after, a group of Nueva Esperanza residents made their way to city hall to protest the eviction, demanding mayor Laura Beristain take the necessary steps so that the Ejido lands are sold and then able to have a patrimony.

The mayor, along with several city council members, did make time for them, saying that she is respectful of what the Judicial Power commands since the eviction order comes from a judge. However, what she condemns is the excessive use of force in a place where elderly people, children and women live.

Alfredo Paz Cetina, the Secretary General of the City Council, said that after the meeting with the settlers, they agreed on the first negotiating table with two representatives for each of the blocks that make up the settlement.

“Everything that is done is preventive, seeking to reach correct solutions without violating the affected families,” he said.

Nueva Esperanza invasion, which is located next to In House at the end of Constituyentes Avenue, is one of two illegal colonies that have popped up in the west region of Playa del Carmen over the years, being illegally occupied by settlers that arrive to the area.