A construction site with a large unfinished concrete structure, protest banners, construction equipment, and a police vehicle in the foreground.

Maya Land Rights Defender Detained in Playa del Carmen

Fabiola Cortés Miranda, an activist and founder of civil association Somos Tus Ojos, has been placed under pre-trial detention by a civil judge in Playa del Carmen. This action was taken after Miranda defended against land dispossession and environmental damage in areas surrounding Puerto Aventuras.

Miranda has claimed that this detention is an abuse of power and a violation of human rights. She alleges that the judge has complied with precautionary measures requested by an individual claiming ownership of the land that has been granted to Maya residents.

According to Miranda, the commercial company Four Cardinals Developments has filed a civil liability lawsuit for moral damage. This lawsuit comes after a series of legal actions were taken against the alleged landowner for their potential involvement in a land dispossession crime committed against Maya residents in El Pocito, Puerto Aventuras.

The court's acceptance of the lawsuit was made public on May 13 in the Second Civil Court of First Instance of the Municipality of Solidaridad, under file number 210/2024. Along with the acceptance of the lawsuit, the court also imposed precautionary measures such as pre-trial detention, preventing Miranda from leaving the state of Quintana Roo. Additionally, her assets and those of the Maya landowners have been seized, and their bank accounts have been frozen.

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Miranda describes these measures as excessive, stemming from various protests held on the El Pocito property. This property is currently being used by the alleged landowner to develop the Amares project, despite protection suspensions in favor of the Maya landowners who have proven their land rights to federal judges in Cancún.

Currently, Miranda is preparing for a new legal battle in federal courts to defend the fundamental rights she believes have been violated against her and the Maya landowners she represents.