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Navy Raids Cancun Beach – Stolen Sand

A nice summertime story from the Associated Press:

A tourist watches as Mexican federal environmental authorities and navy sailors close a section of beach built by allegedly pumping sand from the ocean bottom to combat erosion at a hotel in Cancun, Mexico, Thursday, July 30, 2009. Five people were detained in the incident.

Mexico shuts Cancun beach, alleges sand was stolen

By MARK STEVENSON (AP)

MEXICO CITY — Surprised tourists found their little piece of Cancun beach paradise ringed by crime-scene tape and gun-toting sailors on Thursday.

Environmental enforcement officers backed by Mexican navy personnel closed off hundreds of feet (dozens of meters) of powder-white coastline in front of a hotel accused of illegally accumulating sand on its beach.

Mexico spent $19 million to replace Cancun beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. But much of the sand pumped from the sea floor has since washed away, leading some property owners to build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.

"Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand," said Patricio Patron, Mexico’s attorney general for environmental protection. "This hotel was telling its tourists: ‘Come here, I have sand … the other hotels don’t, because I stole it.’"

Patron said five people were detained in a raid for allegedly using pumps to move sand from the sea floor onto the beach in front of the Gran Caribe Real Hotel. The hotel is also suspected of illegally building a breakwater that impeded the natural flow of sand onto other hotels’ beaches, he said.

An employee of the hotel’s marketing office said nobody was available to comment on the allegations. Authorities said the hotel owner ignored previous orders to remove the breakwater.

A knot of angry tourists gathered around the closed beach.

Some were irked by the sight of police tape and "Closed" signs.

Maria Bachino, a travel agent from Rocha, Uruguay, said by telephone that she had booked a beachfront room in Cancun, only to find herself cut off from the clear, bathub-temperature waters that lure millions to Cancun each year.

"They promised us a beach," said Bachino. "This is very unpleasant, we feel bad. This is intimidating," she said of the armed navy personnel who participated in the raid.

Patron said he regretted any inconvenience for tourists, but said the government is planning projects to restore beaches throughout Cancun in an orderly, environmentally responsible way.

"I apologize to the tourists for this problem, but it is a question of enforcing the law," Patron said.

If we can redistribute income, what is so wrong with the redistributing sand?

Still, given that we are talking about Mexico here, are they sure the white powder substance is sand?

Environmental enforcement officers backed by Mexican navy personnel

Don’t worry.

It can’t happen here.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 31st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Navy Raids Cancun Beach – Stolen Sand”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Environmental enforcement officers backed by Mexican navy personnel…”

    … all 4 of their sailors???

  2. rocketman says:

    Maybe it’s not sand. I hear tell Mexico has an abundance of white stuff.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Mexico……enforcing the law……who’d have thought?

  4. jobeth says:

    What a beautiful analogy this is of what is happening here in America with Obalmy’s economic policy, isn’t it?

    He and his minions will continue to skim the sand/$$ after building their “breakwater” for years to come, won’t they.

  5. Right of the People says:

    Obviously the correct bribes were not put into place, how else could they get the government to act?

  6. U NO HOO says:

    Remember the old joke about the man who pushes a wheelbarrow of sand out the factory gate every day for thirty years…?

    The guard never found anything in the sand…

    The man was stealing wheelbarrows and “ill-gotten, illegally accumulated” sand.

  7. Liberals Demise says:

    It is the first time they deployed their Navy from the highlands to the waters edge on burros. Their marines would have deployed before the Navy did but their Ass broke down half way there.


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