Malecón Tajamar Site of the controversial Cancún development.

113 children halt Fonatur development

Malecón Tajamar is a 58-hectare commercial and residential project in Cancún

A project in Cancún in which at least US $900 million has been invested hangs in the balance after 113 children won a ruling for its suspension.


A judge ordered a halt to the Malecón Tajamar project, being promoted by the federal tourism development fund Fonatur, siding with the children’s argument that environmental damage would violate their right to a healthy environment.

But the judge also ordered the plaintiffs pay a bond of 21 million pesos, about US $1.2 million, as compensation to third-party investors in the project. That order is being challenged on the grounds that it was aberrant to apply “commercial criteria” to a bond that was unattainable to the young plaintiffs.

A lawyer and adviser to a local environmental group also argues that the judge did not properly weigh the collective right to a healthy environment over the interests of the third parties.

Raymundo Gil Rendón said an appeal of the bond will likely take three months to be resolved, which would require Fonatur to obtain another environmental impact assessment as the existing one, approved in 2005 when the project began, expires next February.

The Malecón Tajamar is a 58-hectare commercial and residential development in the central zone of Cancún, overlooking the Nichupté lagoon. It would include 50,000 square meters of office and commercial space, 3,600 homes, condominium towers and a Catholic church.


Environmental groups have been fighting the project since it began, largely because of the destruction of mangrove forests.

Said one of the plaintiffs, four-year-old Ana, in an interview with Quartz: “If we cut everything down then we’re going to die. Trees help us breathe.”

Source: El Economista (sp), Quartz (en)

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  • Happygirl

    A big bravo to the young people, because instead of blowing up buses, destroying property and inflicting pain on innocent people you have used the court system and have gotten your message out. The judge should have congratulated you … now you must use the media to raise the money and bring your message to the world. Perhaps the Mexican government will forgive or remove the penalty if you raise your voices loud enough…you are the future and have a human right to a healthy environment. You, the lawyers and your supporters are an inspiration to us all. Third party investors should look at other places in Mexico to invest their money…Cancun is big enough, making it larger doesn’t make it better. Mexico is beautiful – use your imagination…keeping in mind to take care of her and her people.

    • Alex Double

      Well said!!!

  • Lucy James

    I love that there’s at least been a halt to the project…but let’s face it, children and environmental concerns do NOT trump economic gain in the Riviera Maya. Mark my words, the project will go through, sooner or later.

    • Athea Marcos Amir

      Lucy, I think you meant that “…environmental concerns do not Trump (with a capital T) economic gain…” and I would not add, rather than “in the Riviera Maya,” “just about anywhere,” sad to say. The Donald’s surname is perfect, don’t you think?

      • Lucy James

        Indeed, true on all counts!

  • Alex Double

    A fantastic example to everyone!! Well done, kids! I just hope that you don’t get rolled over when it comes to th final crunch!

  • SeemedLikeAGoodIdea

    I wonder how many potential jobs will be lost because of this?

  • Diane Dutton

    I wish this kids could come to Yucatan and convince a judge to stop permits on more and more pig farms and agrochemicals to enter in the water systems that affect everyone. Analysis from studies on cenote water shows a high E-coli content. The world needs more concerned people with our environment like these kids. The adults just give up and let the big guys get away with whatever suits them.