Authorities Investigate Illegal Development Activities Inside Puerto Aventuras
Residents of Puerto Aventuras have reported to authorities that Dreams Hotel is illegally filling the bay with rocks and sand.
Environmental groups and residents of the municipality of Solidaridad denounce the construction works for the expansion of a tourist complex without environmental impact studies or the corresponding permits. The construction is being carried out on federal maritime land and may cause risk to the reef system.
“We are in one of the bays in the Puerto Aventuras tourist complex. What we can see is construction that is being carried out at this time. The biggest problem is the serious impact that this is generating in the entire reef area, ” claims one of the residents of Puerto Aventuras.
“They have put in a lot of stones and sand. They have made an artificial walkway, just to avoid the entrance of sargassum to the bay, which has been excessive. At the moment, everything is brown and filled with algae, ” he emphasized.
The Chan Yu Yum Bay of the Mexican Caribbean is a part of the federal maritime land zone (Zofemat) This strip of land that extends along the coast is considered, by law, public space.
“In Puerto Aventuras there is a developer who is committing ecocidal acts. They cannot be described in any other way. They are doing a landfill in a bay and that is inexcusable,” insisted Gerardo Solís, Quintana Roo environmental activist.
According to reports by residents in Puerto Aventuras, they have split the bay in two in anticipation of the reopening of the Dreams Hotel scheduled for September.
Information and an interview were requested from Hotel Dreams but there was no response. Regarding the work on the property, the director and legal representative of the Puerto Aventuras tourism development trust, Román Rivera Torres, was asked and he responded with the following.
“It was a breakwater that was destroyed. If someone is doing work to retain sand, plant palm trees and to prevent sargassum….how do I see it? I see it as beautiful. And didn’t they need the permits to request them from PROFEPA or SEMARNAT. PROFEPA or SEMARNAT? Look…..I would be better to ask my father and mother for permission, because PROFEPA and SEMARNAT are not working and they do not have gasoline to come to inspect the work, ” remarked Román Rivera Torres, Developer of the Puerto Aventuras touristic complex.
“There are businessmen who are voracious, and there is no respect for the environmental norm. It is not possible for SEMARNAT, for PROFEPA when they only have only 4 inspectors for the entire state,” complained Solís.
SEMARNAT indicated that to date, no permissions have been granted to carry out any environmental impact works. The developer of Puerto Aventuras maintains that it was the Secretary of Ecology and Environment of the Government of Quintana Roo (SEMA) who granted the permits.
“They (SEMAR) granted permits and the work that is being done is reconstruction of work that already existed. The procedure was done before SEMAR.” insists Rivera Torres.
The state agency rejects this claim, but they refused to present requests that they received from the developer and the response they gave to them.
“No authorization has been granted from SEMA for development in that area, or for those projects. It is federal jurisdiction, ”said Elvira Carvajal, Undersecretary of Ecology and Environment, Quintana Roo.
Owners in Puerto Aventuras report that this is not the first time that works have been carried out in residential development where the environment is damaged. In 2019 they reported to authorities that in the cove of “Chac Hal Al”, heavy machinery was used to fill it with stone and earth. It is in this area that a small Mayan temple from the postclassic period is located.
We are waiting for the authorities to respond to us to determine if these works or these movements that they are doing there have the corresponding permits,” concluded Pablo Alcocer, Representative of Colonos y Propietarios Puerto Aventuras.