Beach homes in Campeche’s Playa Palmeras are being robbed, vandalized, and turned into drug dens.
The once luxury homes were part of a multi-million dollar housing development built by American investors.
The abandoned residential and tourism complex sits on the coast along the Champotón – Sabancuy highway.
Dozens of homes were finished over 15 years ago but have since been emptied and abandoned. Some remain occupied part-time by locals from Champoton entrusted with keeping thieves out.
The 2009 financial crisis hit developers in Campeche particularly hard. Earlier in the decade several housing complexes and hotels began construction. The projects were abandoned due to interruptions in financing and decreased demand.
“These homes have been left empty for years and have become a haven for criminals and drug addicts. It’s a really big problem,” said Champoton local Irma Galán.
Champoton residents say that they have been trying to get the local government to do something about these abandoned homes for over eight years, but have been ignored at every turn.
The Playa Palmeras office, which was once located in the city of Campeche, has long since shut down and its representatives appear to have left the country.
Real estate listings for some of the homes and several lots in the area can still be seen online and start at approximately 60,000 USD.