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Time and tide

23 August 2009

Mark Lacey in the New York Times:

Police tape goes up every day in trouble spots all across Mexico but is rarely unfurled on the beach. One oceanfront stretch in Cancún, however, was closed off to the public recently after the federal government deemed it a crime scene — the target of what prosecutors consider an elaborate scheme to steal sand.

Beaches, up to the high tide mark, are property of the nation. While hotels do their darndest to restrict access (sometimes resorting to brute force and intimidation), there is no such thing as a private beach in Mexico. What the Gran Caribe hotel is trying to do is prevent the high tide line from reaching their property, thereby letting Mother Nature expropriate the land. And, by privately pumping sand, it’s threatening the property of its neighbors.

Sending in the Marines to close the hotel’s beach might sound a bit dramatic (or amusing), but it is the military’s mission to protect the nation’s natural resources.

AP Photo by  Israel Leal, published in the New York Times

AP Photo by Israel Leal, published in the New York Times

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