Cancun, Q.R. — A judge granted a provisional suspension against the construction of hotel that would add an additional 530 rooms to the RIU chain at kilometer 17 of the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Francisco Villarreal, the lawyer who has been initiating the proceedings since November 2015, said the project agenda, issued by the Directorate General of Impact and Environmental Risk (DGIRA) of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), was plagued with irregularities that included the withholding of operative permits authorizing environmental impact and land use change, to advanced payments to the RIU chain Mexican Forest Fund which were made before the DGIRA issued the authorization for the hotel.
He also said recent studies show that the place where they want to build the hotel is highly vulnerable as the new development would be between two protected areas, Nichupté and the Parque Nacional Costa Occidental of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Punta Nizuc.
The RIU Riviera Cancun hotel project was originally rejected by Semarnat in March of 2015, but resubmitted a reformed building agenda and were set to begin construction in 2016. This latest appeal against RIU was won by the same team of lawyers who recently won the provisional suspensions for Tajamar Malecón, another development project in Cancun. Earlier this month, the controversial Tajamar Malecón development was also temporarily suspended by a judge on similar grounds.