Legal battles over land use in Tulum continue

Tulum, Q.R. – Conflict continues between land squatters and the federal authorities.

Tourism growth within the Tulum National Park — Parque Nacional de Tulum — continues as does the land tenure and litigation issue between the squatters and federal authorities.

The dispute of land dates back to 1981 and involves 13 developments.

The cases are being handled by the coordinating unit for Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), who are responsible for resolving the issue in the status of buying and selling the land according to the expropriation decree NTP 1971.

According to the director of the National Park of Tulum, there are to be no more projects and that is the issue involving the land tenure. “It’s a sensitive issue, it is leading the legal affairs unit. It is something that will define other areas. All we can do is work with these people and conservation activists,” explains Wadi Amar Lopez.

“The area is small. It’s 664 hectares. Most people know only the coastal strip and the archaeological site, which is not part of the national park however, all people enter the archaeological site through the national park. All southern beaches, which are three kilometers, 17 or 20 hectares, is all that is developed. The other 540 hectares are in excellent state of preservation,” he said.

Around half a million visitors that enter the Tulum National Park do not know of its existence. This is a concentrated area of three kilometers of beach south of the protected area where most of the tourist developments are, which is about 800 rooms.

According to the Association of Hotels and Tourism Directorate municipal, Tulum has one of the highest hotel occupancy rates and is expected to see about half a million people enter the park.

But no concessions are to be granted within the Tulum National Park. A federal agreement with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) states that the area is for turtle conservation. However, there are five concessions to Zazil Kin.

More than 184,000 square meters of federal land, from Kore to the entrance of Pavo Real, are zoned for sea turtle protection and tourism activities regulated by the CONANP.

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