Marina Ixtapa in Guerrero. Marina Ixtapa in Guerrero.

Allegations continue against Ixtapa marina

Condominium owners charge fraud, mismanagement

Charges of fraud and bad management continue to be leveled against the operator of a marina development in Guerrero, which critics claim is in a state of abandonment.

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Marina Ixtapa was developed by the national tourism fund Fonatur in the 1990s to promote marine tourism but charges of mismanagement have been made against Desarrollo Marina Ixtapa S.A. de C.V. over a number of years.

A condominium owners group in particular has been vocal in its criticism of that company’s owner, Gabriel Ochoa Ornelas. The condo owners claim the company has failed to complete the terms of a fideicomiso, or trust, awarded to it by Fonatur.

They also accuse Ochoa of illegally selling properties on the 171-hectare site which they say is federal property.

The president of the Marina Ixtapa condominium and residents association says not only have the trust’s obligations not been met but the trust itself was awarded to Ochoa’s company illegally.

Jaime de la Torre told Reforma that marina residents have been denouncing illegalities for years but federal authorities have done nothing in response.

“We have never understood, and this intrigues us, where his power comes from and the impunity that has been allowed this man over many years . . . .”

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But as far as Fonatur is concerned, it has no responsibility in the matter.

Director general Héctor Martín Gómez Barraza told Radio Fórmula his agency has nothing to do with the current circumstances of the marina and has told the condominium owners that. He described it as private property and an issue between individual owners.

However, Gómez said Fonatur would undoubtedly step in to salvage the marina if the Communications and Transportation Secretariat granted it the concession. But “unfortunately that concession is held by Marina Ixtapa, whose proprietor is Gabriel Ochoa Ornelas.”

If it were revoked, and if the law permitted, Fonatur would be willing to invest in the project, he said.

Reforma reported that the trust specifies that if any of its obligations are not met it becomes void and the assets revert to Fonatur.

Not only is the maintenance of the facility among those obligations but so is the completion of several projects such as wastewater treatment plants, electrification and roads to connect the condominiums. Some roads have not been built while others have deteriorated.

A report last October said the marina’s berths were no longer being maintained and a canal had not been dredged, preventing sailboats from entering.

It was also revealed that the marina operator was seeking a land use change for a golf course on the site with the intention of subdividing the land and selling lots.

Marina Ixtapa was intended to trigger the development of the biggest marine tourism center on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Source: Reforma (sp), Radio Fórmula (sp), Despertar de la Costa (sp)

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  • James Smith

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