Judge halts construction of residential complex on the last virgin beach of Puerto Escondido

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A federal judge has ordered the provisional suspension of the construction of a residential complex called “Punta Colorada”, which the Oaxaca government seeks to promote on the beach of the same name, considered the only virgin beach left in Puerto Escondido. The decision was obtained after a coalition of activists and collectives, called “Salvemos Puerto Escondido”, filed an injunction with 300 signatures to reject this megaproject and other real estate developers in the area.

The organization argues that this is the last virgin beach that remains in this tourist destination, and that building a complex would affect the life and species of the coastal ecosystem. The species of the beach are protected under the NOM 059 of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

The injunction points out the omission of sanctioning, inspecting and verifying the acts that pollute the beach. “The provisional suspension requested is granted, for the purpose of keeping things in the state they currently are; that is, for the responsible authorities, within their spheres of competence, to refrain from granting any type of license, permit, authorization or similar, with the purpose of authorizing any type of construction within the area corresponding to the Punta Colorada beach, as well as to carry out the felling of trees and flora on said beach”, the resolution stated.

According to the organization Services for an Alternative Education (Educa), this tourist destination of the Oaxacan coast is currently undergoing a serious process of gentrification, which is also “driven by the Oaxaca government”. In September, in the state capital, the Collective of Environmental Organizations of Oaxaca (COAO) joined the actions of denunciation for the defense of the ecological reserve of Punta Colorada. They explained that 111 hectares are at risk, as there is an uncontrolled sale of land in Puerto Escondido and its surroundings.

According to Almendra Gómez Leyva, one of the young defenders of Punta Colorada beach, quoted by Educa, the project that the Oaxaca government tries to promote “would destroy the important coral and coastal interaction that this area has for countless marine species, among them the sea turtles, being of greater importance the Leatherback turtle -the largest in the world- and that is in a critical state of extinction”.

Source: El Universal