Despite the placement of buoys to delimit the beach adjacent to the Traditional Boardwalk, dozens of bathers disregard this measure and continue to invade the area, which has generated criticism of the Municipal Government. This has gradually eroded the trust of national and international tourism due to the countless incidents that have occurred in that area.
The precautionary sign is just a few meters away from the arches of the Fiscal Pier, right where a couple of local companies approach tourists to offer banana boat rides, which are consistently popular on weekends.
“People ignore several measures that are taken to ensure their safety on the beach, but there is a lack of a prevention culture. It’s almost impossible to contain so many people who start arriving from Friday morning,” said Rubén Molina, a bather from Mérida who emphasized that he takes precautions.
In addition to that, it is once again emphasized that the personnel is scarce, considering the massive influx of people, and there are several kilometers between the Traditional and International Boardwalks.
“It seems like there are no lifeguards in the port. We’ve seen them patrolling, but it’s too difficult for them to act promptly when they have to cover such a large area. It’s often boasted that Progreso Beach has the Blue Flag distinction, but there is no guarantee of safety here,” said Francisca Nah, a local bather.
Among the recent incidents that have occurred is the death of an individual who washed up lifeless on the shore on Sunday, May 7, amidst the confusion of several bathers who were unable to do anything to preserve the person’s integrity. The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.
The invasion of stray dogs in this area has also gained attention in recent days. When the aforementioned individual died, a Municipal Police officer was attacked by two black dogs just a few meters from the Chocolate Pier. The officer had to be taken to the hospital but managed to recover and has resumed his surveillance duties in various areas and neighborhoods.
Banana boat rides have also sparked discussion. A similar incident occurred on April 24, when two visitors from Mérida capsized and had trouble returning to shore after the jet ski towing the inflatable raft sank.
Events with massive attendance at the International Boardwalk have also lacked security measures. During the performance of the reggaeton duo Zion and Lennox, a former member of the National Guard was fatally stabbed by an individual.
The inclusive beach has also faced criticism. During an interview with tourist Cristina Sánchez from Valladolid, she expressed her disappointment when visiting this area on March 13. Apart from the absence of staff to provide assistance, a drunken individual intimidated her, and when the woman in a wheelchair requested help, no Municipal Police officer came to her aid.