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Parents say 16-year-old’s drowning in cenote could have been prevented

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Cenote Azul in Sacalaca Quintana Roo. Photo: Courtesy

The parents of a 16-year-old boy who drowned last Saturday in a Quintana Roo cenote say that the accident should have been prevented by cenote administrators.

The youth had visited the Cenote Azul in Sacalaca with a couple of friends but did not resurface after jumping into the water. 

The witnesses, also minors, reported that they were alone in the cenote, which does not have lifeguards or any security features.

The friends of the victim ran to notify a guard and were told to leave the cenote at once and to not say a word to anyone, as he “would take care of it.”

A little after midnight, Sacalaca police confirmed the disappearance of the young man and contacted his family in Tixcacal, Yucatán.  

It was not until 2:30 the next afternoon that civil protection officers showed up at the cenote to begin the search for the drowning victim. The body was found at about approximately 5 p.m. by divers.

Earlier: Obstruction of justice probed after boy drowns at Xcaret Park

Relatives say that local police had been hesitant to register the incident with state authorities, and only did so after they were pressured to do so.

The family also argues that the accident could have been prevented if cenote administrators had bothered to implement adequate security features.

Journalists who arrived at the scene reported that local authorities tried to dissuade them from reporting the story or take any photographs. 

On the same day that the body was found in Sacalaca’s Cenote Azul, a diver found another body in a Tulum cenote.

These and other recent incidents such as the drowning of a young boy at Xcaret Park near Playa del Carmen have raised serious concerns regarding safety in Quintana Roo’s cenotes. 

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