April 18, 2024
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Tulum Residents Demand Beach Access

TULUM, Mexico – The Azulik Hotel in Tulum is under scrutiny for allegedly monopolizing a public beach area by strategically placing its furniture and barriers, limiting space for beachgoers seeking relaxation. The controversy was sparked by a video circulating on social media showing posts and chains placed approximately a meter and a half from the shoreline, infringing upon what is legally defined as the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (ZMT).

Under Mexican law, the ZMT is a twenty-meter-wide strip of solid, traversable land adjacent to the coast. This designation ensures that beachfronts remain accessible and in the public domain, not subject to private encroachment or ownership. Despite having a concession for a specific area, Azulik Hotel’s current setup appears to defy these regulations.

Legal stipulations outlined in the “Regulations for the Use and Utilization of Territorial Seas, Navigable Waterways, Beaches, Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone, and Lands Reclaimed from the Sea,” specifically Article 5, declare that these areas are federal properties, inalienable and indefeasible. They remain unclaimed by any private entity, such as hotels, restaurants, or beach clubs. Article 7 further prohibits any construction or installation obstructing free transit through these public areas, except for structures approved by the Secretary following urban development and environmental protection laws.

The ongoing situation with Azulik Hotel raises questions about enforcement and compliance with these laws. There are precedents of businesses losing their concessions for similar infringements. If proven true, The hotel’s actions could potentially lead to significant legal repercussions, including revoking its beachfront concession.

Locals and tourists have voiced their concerns over privatizing beach spaces in Tulum—a town renowned for its stunning, accessible coastlines that attract visitors worldwide. Advocacy groups and legal experts call for immediate action to restore unrestricted access to the beach, emphasizing the need for sustainable tourism practices that respect legal boundaries and environmental integrity.

Tulum Residents Demand Beach Access

This case also highlights a broader issue in popular tourist destinations, where the line between private benefit and public access often blurs, sometimes leading to conflict and legal challenges. The balance between promoting tourism and preserving public access to natural resources is delicate and requires vigilant oversight and stringent law enforcement.

As this situation develops, local authorities and federal agencies are urged to assess and act upon the alleged violations to ensure Tulum remains a welcoming and lawful paradise for all.


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