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Tour guides in Bacalar protest entry of glass bottom boat company

Bacalar, Q.R. — A tour company from Cozumel that is to begin operating in Bacalar created annoyance from local lagoon boat owners. A new glass-bottom tour boat arrived in Bacalar to begin operating for the tourist season.

The boat belongs to a company out of Cozumel. Bacalar boatmen were upset by its arrival and responded with a protest that lead to the blocking of the waterway.

Local Bacalar boatmen who also provide tours on the lagoon are opposing the entry of the new boat, which is being seen as competition. Edwin Cano Ramírez, president of the Bacalar Association of Nautical Service Providers, is calling it unequal competition.

He says its operation will not be allowed since it is a foreign company that intends to displace nautical service providers. “We are not going to allow our sources of employment to be taken from us,” he warned.

The group of four owners of the glass bottom boat filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office Tuesday for assault, damage, kidnapping and threats.

Daniel Román García Sandoval, representative of the Emva Tour Company who owns the glass-bottom boat said on Monday evening, he was illegally detained along with two other people by members of the Bacalar Association of Nautical Service Providers. He said they managed to escape by water, while the boat was stolen.

“They prevented us from putting the boat into operation because they said that the Bacalar Lagoon belongs to them and despite this aggression, the public prosecutor’s office did not want to receive the complaint,” he explained.

The glass-bottom boat has since disappeared, which, according to Garcia, is being sheltered by those of the Nautical Association at a dock.