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15 noisy night spots warned to turn down the volume

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Mérida, Yucatán — Fifteen bars and restaurants in the Centro Histórico are on notice for noise offenses, members of the Urban Development Commission told Milenio Novedades.

Another 30 have been penalized or temporarily shut down for health code or safety violations, they said.

The newspaper did not name the establishments.

Complaints were filed “for the benefit of the citizens,” said the city authorities. Although new bars and restaurants have given new life to the Centro, the city now must ensure they can coexist with residential neighbors who were there first.

While two bars were shut down immediately for safety reasons — a lack of emergency lighting and fire extinguishers being a key concern — noise violations are handled with a warning. Repeat offenders are given the “most severe sanction,” the commission reportedly told the reporter.

Various bars in the Centro have not only blasted music but have also sometimes exceeded the allowed crowd capacity.

The city turned on the pressure after residents did the same to the city. Protest banners have begun to appear on private homes’ facades, many of which are apparently stolen after dark. Residents had complained that the city turned a deaf ear to their complaints for years.

Also, so far this year, the state branch of the Federal Commission for the Protection of Health Risks (Cofepris) has suspended 10 establishments, mostly restaurants, for not meeting the Official Standard 25, which regulates the proper handling of food. Like the consumer protection agency, Cofepris increased surveillance for the holiday season.

Miguel Angel Soberanis Luna, the local leader of Cofepris, said that restaurants, bars and cantinas were cited for several reasons, and that inspectors are chiefly concerned with preventing cross-contamination of raw food.

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