CHETUMAL, Q. Roo — The Department of Ecology and Environment of the Municipality of Bacalar has closed 10 hotels after detecting that they were dumping waste into the waters of Laguna de los 7 Colores.
The environmental authorities also levied financial penalties which vary depending on the level of damage done.
This was disclosed by the mayor of this Quintana Roo community, José Alfredo Contreras Mendez, who in an interview at the International Airport of Chetumal said the closures were withdrawn recently, after the sanctioned places corrected misconduct and pledged to adhere to the ecological system in force.
But the mayor did not specify names or the amount of the fines. He said that since last August authorities detected several hotels in coastal Bacalar, representing environmental damage to the Laguna de los 7 Colores, because they were not connected to sewers and therefore discharged their waste water into the lagoon.
He said that besides the discharge of sewage into the lagoon, the hotels were not even officially registered, so they were also asked to make the appropriate arrangements to operate within the framework of legality.
“There were 10 centers that we closed through the Department of Ecology and Environment of Bacalar, which included houses that operated as hotels during each holiday season, but operated without registration or permission, nor attached to environmental and safety regulations, “explained Contreras Mendez.
He said that sanctions imposed on the hosting centers were varied depending on the severity of the damage; however, he did not specify amounts or give further details about it.
“The closures have already been raised, after the sanctioned places rectified the damage and were connected as is due to sanitary sewer outlets, in addition to adapt their space to operate properly. We will continue conducting these inspections especially now that holidays are coming, because we know that there are many areas that are enabled at this time as irregular hosting centers, and those are the ones most at risk of causing pollution in the lagoon,” concluded Contreras Mendez.
It should be noted that the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Bacalar since 2014 has reported the presence of irregular lodging facilities in this destination, which do not meet adequate environmental and safety guidelines, plus they represent unfair competition for formal establishments.
According to the latest figure put forward by the president of the business group, David Martinez Sanchez, the number of irregular hosting centers in Bacalar was said to be more than 18, which are mostly houses at the edge of the lagoon that enabled as hotels or camping areas, usually when during holidays or when there is a massive event in the destination.
(Source: Quintana Roo Por Esto!)
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