The Vidanta Group that’s building a new hotel on the Cabo del Este beach has closed off access to Playa Zacatitos which was formerly a public beach area. Executives from Vidanta argue that since they purchased the property to build the hotel they now have a right to close off access to these beaches. Tourists and locals that used to be able to access this beach are no longer being afforded that luxury. The beach currently sits empty since the beachfront hotel that is being built there is effectively still under construction.
Locals also argue that the Vidanta Group isn’t only blocking access to the beach itself. In doing so they are also making it harder for people who own land near this part of Cabo del Este beach to access those properties because of their blockade. Locals have already asked authorities to force Vidanta to reopen the beach, but the blockade remains. One of the locals affected by the blockade had this to say,
“They say the governor is friends with President Lopez Obrador, let’s hope he can tell him that they are stealing a beach that is meant for the enjoyment of the people. They’ve also closed off the road that leads to Cabo Pulmo, and we used this road to get to local ranches.”
Who Has The Rights To The Beach?
As previously mentioned, executives from the Vidanta Group argue that they are legally allowed to close off access to the beach because it is now private property. The affair has become highly politicized due to the people who are involved with Vidanta Group. Daniel Chavez Moran who is the owner of Vidanta Group is supervising the construction of the Maya Train project. His sons own the company that employs President Lopez Obrador’s son.
Locals have hinted at the fact these connections between the ownership group at Vidanta, and the Mexican government have essentially allowed the company to take control of what used to be a public beach. Perhaps the biggest issue though is not the fact that locals and tourists can’t access the beach area. The road that is now blocked by the Vidanta construction affects transit towards San Jose del Cabo from that region.
Vidanta Claims To Have The Rights To The Beach
Recently Vidanta group sued the organization known as Mexicanos Contra La Corrupción y la Impunidad over a set of articles that were published by the organization many of which detail the previously mentioned relationship between Vidanta and the current administration. Vidanta group made it clear that they do not work directly with the federal government in any capacity. They even argue that most of the concessions that were given to them by the federal government to build their beachfront properties were done so during other administrations.
In Mexico to be able to build these beachfront resorts companies must obtain permission from the local government since the beach is actually federal property. What happens is that the government has to concede the rights to the beachfront land to a development company for resorts to be built. In the case of the hotel that is currently being built by Vidanta in Playa Zacatitos the group had to have gotten permission from the government to build on the land.
These concessions are usually 15 year leases of the land. Since Vidanta was granted the lease on the land in Playa Zacatitos they seem to correctly argue that it’s their right to turn the area into a private beach. Regardless of the fact that doing so is going to continue to affect locals and tourists in the region.