Published On: Tue, Aug 16th, 2016

Tulum evictions: “It was like the mob!”

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A New York Times reporter recently visted Tulum to learn about the wave of evictions that occurred in the beach resort in June. Here is his report:

By the time Renaud Jacquet arrived at his compound of rental beach villas, invaders were crawling all over the place.

They were storming through the buildings, emptying out rooms and dumping furnishings and supplies in piles outside. One of the men was wandering around clutching a bottle of Mr. Jacquet’s wine.
Tourists never imagined they would suddenly be evicted from their hotel (Photo: quien.com)

Tourists never imagined they suddenly would be evicted from their hotels. (PHOTO: quien.com)



Similar scenes unfolded up and down the coveted stretch of Caribbean coastline in Tulum, Mexico, in June. Hundreds of men working for a security firm — carrying sticks, metal pipes and machetes, witnesses said — raided 17 properties, including hotels, private homes, boutiques and a beach club. They evicted everyone on the premises, including tourists, some of whom had been roused from their sleep.

“It was like the mob,” Mr. Jacquet recalled. “It’s the French Revolution!”

Yet the takeovers, which seemed to catch the property owners by surprise, were apparently legal, authorized by a judge’s order. Several police officers stood by and watched; they were there only, it seemed, to protect the court officers who had delivered the bad news.

The evictions were the most recent, and by far the largest, in a series of court-ordered expropriations that have shaken this tourist town and stained its image as a laid-back, eco-chic retreat that has become wildly popular among tourists, particularly those from the United States and Western Europe.

Some here, including many of the business owners directly affected by the property seizures, say the evictions and their bitter fallout have exposed an ominous truth about Tulum: that this seemingly Edenic stretch of coastline on the Yucatán Peninsula is hardly immune to the kind of troubles bedeviling the rest of Mexico.

To read complete article click here.

Source: nytimes.com

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