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Senate approves right to free beach access across Mexico

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The Senate of the Republic has approved to guarantee free access to Mexican beaches and apply fines of up to one million peso to those who fail to comply. Members made the unanimous vote Tuesday in favor of fining and / or removing the concession rights to anyone who prevents, inhibits, restricts, hinders or conditions beach access.

“Such restrictions – to access – range from semi-fixed fences to real permanent constructions, sometimes even supported by elements of private security or hotel personnel who are instructed to carry out activities that violate the law,” explained Morena senator Mónica Fernández.

The legislator considered these acts as discriminatory because concessionaires assume the area as their own, a strip that is not within the trade and whose domain corresponds to the nation.

“Mexican beaches are constitutionally and legally public, so there must be access roads so that any national or foreign visitor who wishes to enjoy them can do so. However, despite this legal status, there are still multiple complaints from citizens who have seen their right to enjoy them restricted,” she pointed out.

Legislators endorsed amendments to reform Articles 8 and 127 of the General Law of National Assets, which prohibits inhibiting, restricting, hindering or conditioning access to the beaches. The reform focuses on hotel owners and / or concession holders granting the right of way to beachgoers and not specifically that beachgoers be permitted to enter through their properties.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) will be in charge of ensuring that the new provision is complied with through agreements.

“In the event that there are no public roads or accesses from the public thoroughfare, the owners of land adjacent to the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone must allow free access to it, as well as to the maritime beaches through the accesses agreed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources with the owners, mediating compensation in the terms established by the Regulation,” endorsed in the Upper House adding that “said accesses will be considered easement.”