Tenacatita Clash Escalates

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

(Originally posted at The Wild Wild Left)

I have been following this story for a while now. In a land dispute on the coastline of southern Mexico, hundreds of people, families, homes and businesses have been forcibly evicted from their homes by a developer employing local police to forcibly keep them from their property.


I had originally hoped that the convoluted titling would be resolved fairly quickly. While “beach” property titling is tenuous at best for foreigners, the tradition and law of the land says the public beaches can never be restricted from residents, and are held collectively. I thought, “This is not the West Bank, after all, where a rich “settler” can demolish generational homes and put up fences to keep people out at gunpoint.” I was wrong.

Yesterday, peaceful protesters were gassed and injured when more than 300 of them clashed with the Police. Google translations are far from exacting, but my understanding is that the citizens went with a Federal Marshal who asked the State Police to stand down. The State Police threatened them, saying “We are armed, you know.” There are many more images at the link above.


Then they assaulted and gassed the protesters. The ugliness echoes Bil’in in Palestine.

This situation is becoming a powderkeg.

Sunday, when MP Federal Marshall David Hernandez accompanied the citizens, with many reporters in tow, he demanded that the gate be opened and Federal Law be respected. The State Police refused to open the gate. They then hooked a chain to the gate and a truck, forcibly pulling it down. The people linked arms, and attempted to move down the road to their properties.


They were immediately assaulted with weapons and tear gas.

Now, the Federal Representative is calling for the Impeachment of the State Governor, following the lawsuit the People filed to remove the Judge who granted the order against the People’s rights initially.

Tenacatita was a small, quiet beach. It was a place where the touristas mingled with the locals in one of the most beautiful and blessedly not over-developed areas left on the coastline. Residents often fished there, cooking their wares right on the beach under palapas too sell. When the turtles made their yearly appearance to lay their eggs, people the village over would rush to the beach together… it became a community event.

Dotted with homes, restaurants, thatched huts and moreso, PEOPLE whose lives all connected with this little strip of land, Tenacatita is in the process of being destroyed.

The developer has bulldozed these homes and businesses to make way for an Elite Resort, a mega-expensive playland he wants to build for the rich tourists. The Police he has undoubtedly paid off to protect his interests have ransacked and pillaged people’s homes, stealing everything they own. Remember, these people were evicted with no warning, and made homeless at gunpoint, being only allowed to gather what they could carry in mere minutes.


This once belonged to everyone.


Now one greedy man seeks to make it into something ugly like this, and exclude the indigenous people who have cared for this beach for time untold. This is not what paradise looks like, this is what privilege and exclusion looks like. This is what would become of this beach, where the poorest dirt farmers children could still run in the surf. This is exploitation capitalism at its worst.


This has really stuck in my craw, as I get updates and hear the struggles of men, women and children left homeless, their small businesses destroyed, their jobs gone. They have been struggling to survive, aided greatly by the efforts and donations from the Cyberpueblo group.

The fine people at CYBERPUEBLO are keeping this story alive, working hard to ensure both media coverage of this, and counsel legal actions for both ex-pats and citizens of the area.  Ex-pats can comment and petition the government on this without breaching the gag-order on Mexican Politics they must agree to to obtain a Visa, since this is considered a property dispute, rather than a Political one.

I hope this weekend’s violent clash will bring the Federales into this, more actively, and return the people to what is left of their homes, and restore the beach for all the people.

Save Tenacatita!


Skip to comment form

    • Diane G on October 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Beaches are for the PEOPLE!!!!

    • Diane G on October 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    From cyberpueblo in response to my essay:

    This is actually great news. The state claims that there were no state police there so they are either going to look really dumb with all the photo evidence:

    Or there is a security company with a lot of explaining to do. Either way rest assured that eventually we will all meet in a free Tenacatita. Please keep up the pressure and PLEASE comment on Mexican news articles (many on Milenio) you don’t have to put your name and if it is in English that is OK also.

  1. http://guadalajarareporter.com

    but past President Vicente Fox signed the titles to the land that foreigners thought they had purchased safely, or rather, put into a bank trust.

    Current President Felipe Calderon also validated 220 titles with Fox.  

    A state circuit court judge in the municipality of Cihuatlan effectively overturned the 220 titles issued by Procede – and endorsed by the president – with his eviction order, which Jorge Diaz Topete, lawyer for Inmobiliaria Rodenas, told the newspaper Publico was based on a complaint originally filed in 1993.


    The state human rights ombudsman described the lingering police presence after an eviction as unprecedented. The municipal government of La Huerta, which contains Tenacatita, questioned why beach access was being impeded – a violation of the Mexican constitution.


    This at a time when the Mexican government has been actively courting foreigners to purchase properties and reside in the country. The government also started giving everyone 180-day visas when they enter the country to encourage longer stays.


    Ah, the good ol’ bait and switch.

    We’re sending so much Narco – War money down there their police force is getting increasingly federalized,  and bribery is rampant as the drug lords bribe the cops to work for them.

    Like Calderon, who’s watched 28,000 deaths happen (from the drug goons who are getting their money and guns from this country,)  since he started his U.S. funded narco war, is not involved in this somehow.


    Jose Maria Andres Villalobos, head of the Rodenas group, contends that he purchased 42 hectares (about 103 acres) of beachfront property in 1991 from the widow of a former state governor. Although you can’t legally own a beach in Mexico, Villalobos claims he obtained the beach concession rights in 1993. Locals say the land wasn’t the widow’s to sell in the first place and allege that Villalobos has a judge or two in his pocket.

    Rumors that the judge was bribed are rampant, and some ejiditarios allege that Villalobos has powerful friends in the Mexican government. Other locals say the court order is completely fabricated, citing the following evidence: no one has seen it, and the police seemed edgy when asked for it, even threatening to kill one of the women who requested verification.

    The actions of the ejido mirror their response to past incidents. In 1993, when developers tried to occupy the beach by setting up mobile homes inhabited by armed guards (occupation plays a vital role in Mexican land disputes), local residents towed the trailers back to the highway with the guards inside. In 2006, when state police again attempted to seize the beach on behalf of the Rodenas corporation, the citizens of Rebalsito came out in mass. Women and children formed a human barrier across the road, standing their ground against riot police armed with machine guns.

    • banger on October 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    This has been a general trend around the world–the whole concept of justice is in retreat.  

    • Diane G on October 27, 2010 at 3:44 am


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