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After Yucatan confrontation, national law advances to punish beach bullies

Lower chamber lends broad support to hefty fines for illegal barriers in the federal zone

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A U.S. couple walled off their beach property in Santa Clara, Yucatan, until they were pressured to take it down. Photo: Yofis Magaña / Facebook

With 406 votes in favor, 7 against and 20 abstentions, the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday approved a measure to punish anyone who blocks beaches from the public.

The initiative headed to the Senate for discussion.

In addition, fines exceeding 200,000 pesos were established for land owners who prevent public access to the beach.

The initiative indicates that in the event that there are no public roads or access from public roads to beaches, the owners of land adjacent to federal zones must cooperate with government officials to find a way to allow free access.

Restrictions on beach access by owners of properties adjacent to the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone not only violates Constitutional Article 2 by discriminating against citizens, but also seeks a right where there are none, the measure’s sponsors assert.

The initiatives first presented in October and November by Reps. Julieta Macías Rábago of Movimiento Ciudadano and Carmina Yadira Regalado of the Morena party.

But the issue gained a higher profile after a more recent kerfuffle in Yucatan.

In March, when an American couple fenced off a beach in Santa Clara, neighbors kicked up a storm on social media and helped make a case for tougher legislation.

Federal and state authorities intervened and decided to remove the mesh barriers. “The beaches of Mexico are free and open,” state Sustainable Development officials said at that time.

Waterfront restaurants in the port of Progreso have also been accused of bogarting the beach. Repeat offenders will lose their food-service licenses under the proposal.

Source: nacion321.com

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