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Despite environmental controversy, RIU Cancun will build

Cancun, Q.R. — Despite three years of controversy, Riu Riviera Cancun will be allowed to continue construction of its second hotel.

Owned by Spanish investors, municipal head of Benito Juárez, Remberto Estrada Barba, says that the company has all the required permits to go ahead with construction.

In 2014, the hotel found itself at the beginning of an environmental litigation when it was revealed they intended to build the second Riu in an area of wetlands adjacent to two natural protected areas at Punta Nizuc.

Estrada Barba says the hotel has federal authorization for land use and approved environmental impact along with all the legal aspects for a municipal building license.

The mayor of Cancun said that investors can continue construction of this hotel because there are no impediments due to lack of permits and that, “at this moment, everything indicates that it has all the legal aspects.”

The company announced its intention to construct a second hotel in 2014. Issues began when they said the anticipated 563-room hotel would be built around and affecting the natural protected area of mangrove flora and fauna of Nichupté and the Costa Occidental National Marine Park of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Punta Nizuc.

The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) was the first administration to initiate proceedings against the authorization of the Riu project, pointing out the Punta Nizuc area is “highly vulnerable to climate change”.

A lawyer for the company said the project was modified and resubmitted to Semarnat and the approving licenses were issued under the administration of Paul Carrillo through the Municipal Secretariat of Ecology and Urban Development.