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Ministry has Mexico beach recovery projects on hold

Cancun, Mexico — A project that has been hampered by a lack of response from the Ministry of Tourism is still hoping for a green light.

Beach recovery projects in six of Mexico’s states have not been able to go ahead as planned due to setbacks from budget cuts.

The project is also suffering another setback now with the recent corruption scandal involving the Spanish company, OHL.

Last month, several telephone conversation recordings between various directors of OHL Mexico uncovered an alleged corruption scandal.

The scandal involved inflating the project price of a section of the bicentennial viaduct highway in the State of Mexico. The audio directly involved Apolinar Mena, secretary of communications of Eruviel Avila Villegas in the State of Mexico. One audio is of him requesting payment and holiday plans for him and his family. The other recording was about an agreement to give an inflated price for the road project.

The Mayakoba resort, which is owned by OHL and includes the Fairmont, Rosewood and Banyan Tree hotels, heads the beach recovery project in three of the six beaches developments. Also involved in the projects are Three Rivers Sunset World Group and Kanai, who are opening four luxury hotels, Park Hyatt, W Retreat, St. Regis and Auberge.

Mayakobá complex sources said they are not going to wait any longer, “if the projects are not resolved by the summer by the Ministry of Tourism. Instead, beginning September, we  would go ahead with the first 7 kilometers of beach front.”

Agustín Sarasola, who heads the project, made it clear that consent for the development has been formalized at Semarnat, according to information published in Reportur.

Going ahead with the project could generate a precedent to beach loss prevention in prime accommodation areas along the Mexican coast. The projects total an investment of $30 million US and would involve the placement of geotextile barriers to help protect the reef barriers to avoid further damage.

In three of the complexes, five of the geotextile structures would be placed as well as four marine sand banks to form artificial dunes. To accomplish this, Mayakobá hotels require 220,000 cubic meters of sand, while Kanai needs 126,000 and Three Rivers needs a little more than 6,000 cubic meters.

After the announced budget cuts at the beginning of the year, the state of Quintant Roo remains in limbo over the loss of two major projects, one being the bridge over the Laguna in Canaun and the other, the beach recoveries.

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