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City must provide permits after court rules in favor of Cozumel development project

Cozumel, Q.R — After a lengthy legal battle, a court has ruled in favor of the developer of an ecotourism project Lakam-Ha. The company Jaguar Servicios Inmobiliaria won the right to construct their project, which will be built near Palancar.

The court ruled in favor of the company, obligating the municipal government to grant the construction license for the development, which has been mired in controversy for being located very near the Palancar coral reef area of Cozumel.

Earlier this year, the developer has its Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental (MIA) approved for cabins and a water park, however, mayor Pedro Joaquín Delbouis said even with the MIA approval, his administration would not grant the construction license.

According to Lenin Caamal González, legal director of the Cozumel City Council, the developer appealed that decision to the Tribunal de Justicia Administrativa who over ruled mayor Delbouis, saying the municipality had to provide the construction permits.

“This resolution must be sent to the director (of Urban Development) and what will surely come out of it is that the corresponding permit or license be issued again. In any case, in terms of what the court indicated,” he explained.

The official called it “merely a matter of legal interpretation” saying that they didn’t deny the license, but that documentation was missing. He noted that the outgoing administration still has time to respond to the judicial request.

In December of 2020, company El Jaguar Servicios Inmobiliarios was denied construction permits for Lakam-Ha by Cozumel City Council even though the company had the corresponding authorization from of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat). Shortly after, the company sued the city council for the right to the construction permits.

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