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Street vendor protest generates traffic backlog in Cancun Hotel Zone

Cancun, Q.R. — A several kilometer long line of traffic was generated Tuesday in the Cancun Hotel Zone during a protest. A handful of people with signs managed to generated the traffic backlog while protesting the denial of permits.

Several police officers arrived at Kilometer Zero where the protesters stood. They were angry after, according to their signs, being repeatedly rejected by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) for being denied permits to sell.

The street vendors claimed that Semarnat continues to deny them permits to sell in the tourist areas of the hotel zone. They said that they are often detained and have had their merchandise seized when they are caught selling without the necessary permits.

As a result of the arrests, they say they have had to pay hefty fines.

“We want them to give us legal permits. Semarnat is the branch that is responsible for giving it to us. They are always arresting fellow beach vendors, we have been working like this since November, hiding like criminals. Several companions have been treated very badly, very heavy fines have been paid,” said one of the unidentified protesters Tuesday.

Last weekend, authorities in Tulum began an operation to remove excess street vendors after ongoing complaints by businesses. Approximately 50 illegal vendors set up in tourist areas sell without permits, something legal vendors say, cuts into their sales.